Dancers put their best feet forward in new sports offering


Elle Rosier, Staff Writer

After almost a decade of on-and- off discussion, Upper School (US) Arts Department Head Laura Tangusso and Dance and Movement Teacher and Lower School Arts Coordinator Jenny Lifson debuted a dance class this fall as a sport and art option for US students.

Ms. Lifson, who choreographs and works with students at the lower and middle schools, teaches the class. Any US student can take the biweekly class as an athletic or arts credit during the school day to accommodate those with busy schedules outside of school.

Ms. Tangusso said, however, that they are considering changing the time to standard athletics times so that students may take the class as a sport and still take an art class during school.

“[Dance] requires many of the same things as a sport: physical performance, endurance, intense practice, coordinated movements and team work,” she said.

The first semester focuses on musical theater and swing dances with music from Broadway productions. In the second semester, Ms. Lifson plans to introduce contemporary and jazz styles while also choreographing and dancing to music that’s accessible to US students of all skill levels.

“With every art class, there’s always a variety of levels, so being able to support people that might have a lot of dance experience outside of school combined with people who are beginners might be considered a challenge, but [it is] certainly one that I am up for,” Ms. Lifson said.

Katherine Upton ’24, who took dance for a semester last year and is taking it again this fall, said she appreciates the upbeat atmosphere of the program.

“My favorite part is the variety of all the things we learn and the supportiveness of the people and Ms. Lifson,” she said. “I also really like having time in the day when I’m not just sitting. It’s a lot of fun.”