Dance Department opens doors

Lots of time and effort goes into being a dancer and two dance companies, Global Motion and Synapse, provide Santa Monica College (SMC) with classes to provide proper training for advanced dancers who wish to increase their dancing abilities and one day become professional dancers.“It's no easy task performing on stage,” said Judith Douglas, Chair of the SMC Dance Department. “It takes many, many hours of time for 30 seconds of dance.” SMC’s Dance Department held an open house Thursday, Sept. 1, and there Douglas introduced some of the many dance courses available at SMC. One goal for the open house was to attract students with questions pertaining to the program. It allowed students to personally ask the trained faculty questions that are at times difficult to be answered by someone who isn’t familiar with this artistry. “We teach dance as a performing art," said Douglas. "It’s not an exercise, it’s not an activity, it’s not a sport. They’re dance works or dance pieces because they’re works of art, pieces of art.” Although dance is a form of expressive art, it requires “work, sweat, and thinking," said Michael Owens, the jazz dance instructor at SMC. “It’s not an easy A.” The Dance department has two dance companies open to advanced dance students. These are Global Motion and Synapse. Global Motion’s focus is on dance forms of different world cultures, whereas Synapse concentrates on modern dance and ballet. “Even a ballet dancer needs to know about world dance,” said Douglas. “We teach a well-rounded dancer.” According to Douglas, the main dance universities expect all of their dancers to have a breadth of experience. Though many of the dancers are dance majors whereas others are not, they are all students. Auditions are currently being held for dancers of both companies. Synapse auditions are on Thursday and Global Motion auditions are on Friday. If auditioning dancers aren’t up to par, they are simply told to get their skill up and try again the following semester. “Nobody believes me because I say this all the time, but each year it gets better and better,” said Douglas. “We don’t do repertoire, every semester is brand new.”