The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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USU offers students series of dance lessons for free

Afree hip-hop class provided by University Student Union on April 3 was the second of the three free dance classes that the USU is sponsoring this semester.

Dance lessons are expensive at professional dance studios, so CSUN is offering students some lessons for free because they have shown an interest in it, said Vanessa Garduno, assistant program coordinator of major events for the USU.

It’s not for students who want to learn dance moves to use at clubs, it’s for those who want to learn how to dance with quality instruction, which is expensive, said Garduno.

The event is targeted to mostly students who live in dormitories, but it’s open to all students, said Garduno.

To create events like this dance series, Garduno and her colleagues conducted surveys at events like Matador Nights, and students responded that they would like dance events, said Garduno.

The evaluation surveys showed that the students’ top three choices were swing, hip-hop and salsa, said Garduno. Other dances that did not make it into the series were belly dancing and jazz.

Each dance class is set up to have their own instructors, said Samantha Liu, student assistant at the event. In the previous class, about 10 swing instructors were present.

At first during the swing class no one wanted to try it out, but soon enough they came out of their shells, said Liu in regards to the first dance lesson of the series.

The hip-hop class started with a warm-up lead by Alexandra Blackbird, a dance instructor of 16 years who teaches dance at Glendale Community College.

After warming up, the students were taught a routine to “Sexy Can I” by Ray J and Yung Berg.

“I stay with what is hot and latest,” said Blackbird about the song selections. “It’s really receptive, really fast.”

Blackbird said she started dancing at home at age three and started taking dance classes four years later.

Once Blackbird showed some moves to the students, she lined them up in groups of three in each row and added more as students kept coming in. Approximately 25 students showed up to the event.

Yuliana Naibova, a cinema and television arts major, was one of the students who lined up toward the front of the line.

An international student from the European country of Georgia, Naibova attended the previous swing class also, she said.

“I like to dance. It feels interesting to know more about dancing,” Naibova said.

But more than learning how to dance, Naibova said she came to meet new people.

Freshman students Moranda Gasper and Mia Williams, said one of the reasons they came to the event was because it was free.

When asked if she would plan to attend classes at Blackbird’s studio, Gasper said, “I wouldn’t mind if it was free.”

Blackbird offered the attendees a $5 discount if they mentioned they were from CSUN.

In regards to the event, Gasper said, “it was upbeat, it wasn’t boring. The movement was energetic.”

Fasmode, CSUN’s hip-hop dance team, performed for the students after the session ended.

They performed in part to promote the team and recruit students who were interested in trying out for the team, said Samantha Christian, a freshman and Fasmode member for two semesters.

The next dance event will be held on May 1 and will feature salsa dancing, said Garduno.

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