Musical theater jazz class: All about fun

Yulia Vasilyeva, Staff Writer

Tired of sitting in classes? Bored of presentations, papers, projects, and other homework? If you want to take a class that is all about fun, musical theater jazz class is your best choice.

It is getting more and more popular. The opportunities to learn how to move well, get in shape, and become more flexible attract RMU students.

“There is only one dance class; it is a fairly new program. It is a communication major but it emphasizes theater,” said professor Lisa Elliot, who has been teaching this class for five years at Robert Morris, and has been teaching dance for 31 years.

Jazz class is not only about that particular style of dance. According to Elliot there are many different styles of dance.

“What I teach is a combination of a little bit of classical ballet, a little bit of modern dance, even hip hop, and things that are lyrical. It has a lot of emphasis of other studies,” she said.

Elliot says jazz is more abstract and all encompassing, so everyone can find something special for himself or herself.

“Jazz dancing is a form of dance that showcases a dancer’s individual style and originality. Every jazz dancer interprets and executes moves and steps in their own way,” said Treva Bedinghaus.

The class is not hard. Elliot says to pass the Jazz dance class you just have to come to every class. If you want to get an A, show hard work and passion.

It does not matter how talented you are or if you had any experience on that field.

“I have to look at each person separately, because I have some people who have had years and years of dance training,” said Elliot. “I have somebody in the back row who might be an athlete who has had no dance training whatsoever, so I have to grade based on where the students start from.”

Students really like jazz class. Lakeshia McCloud, who takes jazz class this semester, says that one of the reasons for her choice was that “everyone said it was a great class.” McCloud thinks, “It is really fun and enjoyable.”

Every Tuesday and Thursday she and her classmates come to Massey Hall to dance and have a good time while receiving 3 credits for that class. During the class time students stretch, do some ab exercises, and repeat or learn new dance movements.

“It is a good work out,” says Almira Mekezhanova, who also takes the class this semester. “It keeps me in shape and I am more flexible. And it is a lot of fun!”