By Erica Rabito
Before the final rehearsal leading up to last Friday night’s performance of Dancing with the Kenyon Stars (DWTKS), the student dancers and the Kenyon professors stayed apart from one another, standing in corners and practicing their moves.
Once the rehearsal began, however, the student-professor divide was broken. All separation was immediately forgotten as the pairs launched into friendly conversation and jokes.
Some professors found working with a student in a more personal setting not only completely natural, but also one of the best parts of performing in DWTKS.
Though she met her partner Jack James ’18 for the first time during her preparation for the event, Visiting Instructor of Music Chelsey Hamm, when asked which element of DWTKS was her favorite, was quick to mention her partner. “He was so fun and really receptive in trying to make an art dance and a story dance,” Hamm said. “He was really patient, and really willing to show me things over and over.”
Professor of English Thomas Hawks shared a similar sentiment about working with his former student Anneka Johnston-Dumerauf ’18, and also commented on the ease of their relationship during DWTKS.
“Anneka was in a poetry writing workshop of mine,” Hawks said. “I didn’t know she was going to be my partner until we started practicing together. It’s been great. It’s a kind of reversal — I’m learning a lot from her and that’s the fun.”
DWTKS not only benefits a good cause, raising more than $800 for The Winter Sanctuary of Mount Vernon, and serving as yet another way to unite the Kenyon community in an unexpected way — through dance. Heidi McCrory, vice president of college relations, and Eric Niehans ’16 were crowned as the victors.