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Dance at Widener

Study of Movement

Learning extends well beyond the classroom at Widener University.

“Widener has this culture of supporting the students,” said Dance Instructor Jessica Warchal-King.

“They really allow them to grow and develop so they can figure out what they want to be and who they want to be and the arts plays a huge part in that.

Widener students who have a passion for dance have multiple avenues to get involved. The academic dance program is linked to the fine arts major and offers an intimate setting for learning the techniques of contemporary dance.

Widener Dance Company (WDC) is one of the university’s most popular clubs. The student-run group offers two performances a year and allows students to explore different dance styles that include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and hip-hop. Those looking to dance and root on Widener sports teams at athletic competitions can also join the Pride Pack.

“Dance is certainly my stress reliever,” said nursing major Jessica Borders.

The student-trustee first learned about dance at Widener through her sister who was a founding member of WDC.

“It has been interesting to see the growth of the company because I would go to my sister’s recitals and there would be 10 people and now we are up to 100 active members,” said Borders.

“We really are a family here and it comes from everyone sharing that love for dance.”

Warchal-King explained dance teaches students to sharpen their non-verbal communication skills and can increase awareness and sensitivity.

“In class we often talk about what is behind the movement,” said Warchal-King. “It’s not just the kick, the turn, and the leap, it’s about the emotional content.”

Dancers are also more confident and less troubled by the idea of making a mistake, an important perspective especially for young college students.

Recent graduate Patton Vo added dance at Widener served as a character builder, which helped develop him into a leader. The psychology major and former WDC choreographer said being able to share his love of dance with peers made his college experience that much better.

“It feels like all of our hard work, our sweat, and our tears had a purpose and that is one of the things I love about teaching is being able to share that passion that joy I have for dance with others,” Vo said.