By Bryn Seltzer Madi Cantalamessa
“This is not an audition,” Stacy Letrice ’09 said to the 70 students, professors and children gathered in the Bolton Dance Studio. She was welcoming them to her Afro-dancehall fusion workshop held on Sunday, Sept. 10.
Letrice spent the majority of the class teaching us movements from various styles of dance, including reggae, dancehall and Afrobeat styles.Letrice created an inclusive and energetic environment in which she encouraged participants to let go of any inhibitions and have fun. The workshop was about an hour and a half long. The class culminated in a choreographed combination.
What was most striking about the class was how it brought together people of all ages and levels of dance experience.
However, it seemed that everyone who participated enjoyed themselves and felt welcome though their motivations for attending the class varied.
“I went into the class just wanting to have some fun, learn a few dance moves, improve for parties and just have a good time,” Yodit Herrmann ’19 said. “But what I got out of it was just incredible. It was a really fun experience and I think we should do a lot more of these and have her come back.”
Not only do participants in the workshop benefit from Letrice’s work, but she said she also gains a lot through teaching what she’s passionate about.
“This is just an opportunity to share what I love with new faces,” she said.
Letrice began traveling to different countries to learn about different styles of dance after graduating from Kenyon eight years ago. She credits her experiences during college for giving her her first opportunity to go abroad and grow as a dancer and artist. For her, teaching the class is just as rewarding as it is for those taking it.
“The outpouring of love and the way the Kenyon community has received me was just very rewarding and makes me want to continue the work I’m doing,” she said.
Letrice’s years of experience showed. “It’s been a while since I’ve danced this vigorously,” said dance major Luca Agunos ’18. “It’s not a style that’s really taught here, so it’s really refreshing to dance at this level of community and vivacity.”