By Daniella Molina
The East Los Angeles College Dance Department kicked off fall 2020 with a warm welcome meeting, via Zoom, September 8.
The welcome meeting was an opportunity for students to virtually meet the department’s various professors.
Department Chair and professor Kimberly Rabins pinged in as many as up to 100 attendees as the meeting began.
The professors introduced themselves and gave brief information on the classes they taught.
The various dance forms taught ranged from jazz, hip-hop, tap dance, choreography to yoga and more, all of which would need to be done from home.
Darrian O’Reilly, adjunct professor, asked students to join in on the first of many virtual dance routines for the semester.
Students followed the moves shown, with many of them being eager to practice and dance.
Professors addressed whether there would be virtual recitals due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
“Dance is dance. It’s not just virtual and you don’t need much space. A four by four area will work,” said Rabins.
Rabins said that currently no in-person dance recitals are scheduled until further notice, due to the global pandemic.
The 350-seat dance recital hall, located in the S2 building on campus, will sit empty until safety guidelines are updated for performances and those can be implemented.
With the restrictions on in person classes, professors have had to adapt their styles to fit the current state of instruction.
Rabins said close to a year’s worth of class scheduling was in place when the pandemic hit.
Faculty had to redesign entire departments and assignments in order to make classes possible this semester.
Rabins said that changes would need to be made for students when it came to assignments.
On Canvas the changes for dance students will be to follow modules in order to receive and turn in assignments.
Students are asked to have one on-one meetings with instructors through Zoom.
Students are asked to upload recorded videos of some of the dance movements taught. It’s a new way of learning and getting assignments done.
The professors spoke about how the department has made required adjustments in order to keep up with the ever-changing ways of the world today.
Rabins praised her fellow instructors for doing so much work on the current curriculum. She said that faculty helped her develop the 2020 semesters online dance curriculum.
Students and instructors will work in a brand new teaching and learning environments to accomplish educational goals.
Students wanting to further themselves in dance can look into the Dance Department “Guided pathways” to obtain a degree in dance.
The two pathways available to students are the “Dance Performance Focus” and the “Applied Dance” path. More information can be found at www.elac.edu/Academics/Departments/Dance.
Several of the dance classes offered by the Dance Department meet the general education and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum area requirements.
For a full list of classes that are still open, see www.elac.edu/Academics/Schedule-of-Classes.