Bellevue College offers classes in dance and also has a dance company. The dance program is led by the new director, Jenna Spinei, who transitioned over during the winter quarter. She is well-versed in dance as she has a Movement Science BS from the University of Michigan, and a Dance Movement Psychotherapy MA from Goldsmiths University of London. Spinei is not only a dance instructor, but also uses her talents to teach dance therapy and has worked with refugees to facilitate therapeutic dance and movement. As Spinei expresses, “My mission is to empower, inform and inspire individuals and communities through dance and movement.”
Spinei’s initial focus for the program is to raise the number of people involved and to hold as many events as possible with the dance company. An upcoming production for the company is Power Up. This event is being held on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carlson Theater with free admission. Spinei also expressed wanting to have an event next year like Arts Jam, which was canceled this year, to involve students who may not be a part of the company.
Currently, the dance company is composed of nine dancers. After being on hiatus during the winter quarter, Spinei’s vision is to see the number of dancers grow and is offering auditions. The company works on a variety of different styles of dance from contemporary to salsa to Bollywood. Participating students can also have skills between intermediate to advanced. Being a part of the company is a holistic experience where the dancers not only perform and choreograph, but also pick costumes, work with lighting designers and other aspects of a production which are student-driven. To audition, students may contact Spinei directly. “The larger the variety the more interesting and rich our company will be,” Spinei explained.
Currently, the dance program offers classes in ballet, contemporary, tap and jazz. These classes are either technique one or two. Level one is designed for those who have never had dance training, while two is better for students with previous training or have taken one prior. If a student is unsure about which level to take, they can contact Tammi Doyle, the department’s chair, who will help with placement. Both levels give students proficiency in the style studied which can be extended to other forms, overall enhancing their choreography skills and artistic exploration. With the pandemic, the program saw a drop in enrollment. After the program grows stronger, Spinei thinks it would be “fabulous” to expand to more styles of dance.
However, if a student wants to get involved in dance at Bellevue College, there are a multitude of options. Just look at the events pages, poster walls or the article you just read to find ways to get involved.