by Gabrielle Corrigan
Once or twice a month, in the Black Box Theater behind the Syre Auditorium, Whatcom Community College’s Modern Dance club meets to promote a social and vibrant culture that allows students to express themselves through body language.
Modern dance “started in the early 20th century as a rebellion toward ballet,” said Hannah Lindberg, Whatcom’s modern dance instructor and the club’s advisor. “I really stress that it is a physical practice and an art form.”
“It is fun to be able to choreograph my own dances,” said club member Alana Kemppainen, 21, who started dancing when she was a little girl. “I get to express myself more than in a dance company.”
Lindberg’s dancing style influences the class and club. She said she often fuses modern dance with contemporary dance in her classes. “I teach the elements that are necessary to be a good dancer, and then I draw stuff from everywhere,” she said, including jazz, hip-hop, and Pilates.
“I really like how Hannah teaches and brings new ideas from choreographers I will never get the chance to dance with,” said club member Emiliana Morales, 16. Morales is choreographing her own piece for the club’s production to a song by one of Whatcom’s music club members.
“Your head is shooting rays of sunshine straight up,” says Lindberg, snapping her fingers and leading members through different point and extension exercises. “Here we go. Up a one, two, three…feel the tree roots and the sunshine.
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