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Date: Jan 08, 2009
Hofstra's Dance Program Develops Community Relationship with AHRC-Nassau
Dance Students Share Time and Space With AHRC-Nassau Dancers
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra University’s Dance and Dance Education programs have been working with the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) in Nassau County, which strives to make the lives of children and adults with mental disabilities more fulfilling. James Yarsky, Activities Developer of the AHRC-Nassau, approached Lance Westergard, Director of the Dance Program at Hofstra with the idea of developing a choreographic workshop for dance majors and AHRC adults.
Hofstra’s Dance Program has been interested in forging relationships with community organizations and giving Hofstra students and faculty opportunities to share their love of dance with others. Anita Feldman, Director of the new Dance Education Program, and Robin Becker, Associate Professor of Dance, along with twenty Hofstra dance majors, volunteered their time to dance with six AHRC adults from local group homes. They improvised, choreographed and learned from each other every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 p.m. during the fall semester.
“What most amazed me was the growth of the AHRC adults, both physically and socially, and the warm relationships that blossomed over the semester,” said Professor Feldman. “The Hofstra dance students now know that they have a valuable gift to give to others.”
These choreographic workshops culminated in a showing on Wednesday December 10, as part of the Dance Program’s holiday party. The Dance and Dance Education programs plan to continue these workshops during the spring semester as well.
“I'm pretty sure that both groups have grown to love one another, in their way,” said Yarsky. “The movements, shapes, music, hugs, teaching and laughter continue to evolve in ways I never thought possible.”
For more information about these workshops and the Dance Programs work with AHRC-Nassau, contact Professor Feldman at 516-463-5444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences; business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.