Artistic expression

Dancers explain why they love the sport

Erin McNemar / Managing Executive Editor

Erin McNemar

Managing Executive Editor

Dance is one of the many forms of expression. Whether it is traditional or competitive dance, individuals can use it to depict certain feeling or emotions.

For many dancers, they start at a very young age. Senior Lauren Carney said she began dancing at age three-and-a-half, and how continued her career all the way through college. Carney is currently pursuing a degree in health science and a minor in dance. With her dance minor, Carney takes part in most of the performances on campus. However, Carney is also the president of Keene State College’s Dance Team. While comparing the two, Carney said, “Dance team is a lot more hectic and a lot more pressure. We compete at nationals in Disney every January, so we practice like crazy the fall semester preparing for that.” Carney said.

“Dance department is more time consuming in a way because if you get into multiple pieces, you have to meet multiple times a week with different choreographies to rehearse.”

While Carney said dance is her life, she said one of the most difficult things about it is the time commitment. “So juggling school and social time and still enjoying dance rather than complaining that it is taking up all your time can be hard,” Carney said.

Along with being captain of the dance team, Carney is responsible for running rehearsals with the team during the year. Carney said the biggest challenge with that is keeping the energy levels up. That also applied to her classes Carney said, “There is a lot of things expected from you from your choreographers.”

Senior Kelsey Walsh, who involved in both the dance department and the dance team, agreed with Carney about the intensity of dance at KSC. “It’s a really big time commitment, but I love it,” Walsh said.

In other form of dance, Sophomore Meghan Edwards is a member of the cheer team at Keene State. Edwards, who began cheerleading when she was six, was dancer until about the age of 10. Edwards then decided to focus completely on cheerleading. When comparing the two sports, Edwards said,  “In cheerleading, they’re are most aspects then just dancing. There is stunting, tumbling, and more of a conditioning aspect. In dance it’s more lyrical and in cheer it think it’s more technical.”

While dance can incorporate gymnastics aspects to a piece’s chronograph, in cheer is a requirement. “The tumbling and stunt is probably the most difficult thing. For me personally I’m a base so I need to have stronger arms and legs to hold people up that are the same weight as me,” Edwards said. “When you’re tumbling, you’re going backwards and you can really seen what you’re doing. You’re just flipping in the air. It’s more strength and memory.”

For Edwards, the most difficult thing about cheerleading is the tumbling. When she was 12 Edwards said she landed on her head and gave herself a concussion. For this reason, Edwards faces “mental blocks” when attempting a tumbling routine. “Tumbling has been the thing I’ve had to overcome. I have mental blocks, which I guess everyone has in cheerleading, so I also get neveros to tumble before I go. Sometime I won’t tumble because I get nervous,” Edwards said.

However, when she is able to overcome that fear, Edwards said she feels nothing but proud. “On this team, you have a lot of people cheering you on and it’s great to have that support system,” Edwards said.

So why do dancers dance? For many the response is it’s something they have always done. However, at a certain point it becomes who you are. Walsh said, “It’s a part of my identity and is something that has always been a part of me and who I am. ”

And for some, it’s a feeling of independence. “It means just being free and letting go,” Carney said.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at

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