Kent State Freshmen Create Choreography Club
With nearly 400 student organizations, Kent State University has plenty of options for students to find a club that fits their interests. But if students can’t find one that piques their interest, they can always create their own.
That’s what Kent State freshmen Tara Wade and Ryan Leflar did. The pair did not hesitate to turn their passion for choreography into a student organization.
“Coming to Kent State, I knew anyone could start a club,” Ms. Wade said. “I thought it would be cool to have a club of people who are choreographers so they can get more experience teaching and working with dancers.”
Ms. Wade and Mr. Leflar, who are both majoring in theatre studies with a concentration in management, aspire to have careers in directing and choreography. Ms. Wade, who serves as president of the club, choreographed shows at her high school prior to coming to Kent State. Mr. Leflar, the club’s vice president, also has prior experience choreographing.
“Choreography is something that I’ve just always kind of done,” Mr. Leflar said. “During my senior year (of high school), I was given a show in the fall to direct and choreograph, and I loved doing that.”
The Choreography Club is open to Kent State students of all majors and is free to join. During meetings, members in the organization can request to teach the group a dance or original combination that they have created.
The club, which meets weekly at the Center for Performing Arts, aims to provide a dual learning experience for both choreographers and dancers.
“Choreographers can get practice teaching and dancers can just have fun and get new things under their belts for auditions,” Mr. Leflar said.
The organization prides itself on the relaxed learning environment and openness to all students regardless of prior teaching or dancing experience. Ms. Wade said the club takes away the pressure that is usually associated with dance classes.
“You don’t have to worry about nailing something perfectly,” Ms. Wade said. “We just care that everyone is having fun and trying their best.”
The club has grown tremendously since its inception in the fall of 2018 and its leaders have big plans for the club’s future.
“It’s 45 people ranging from graduate students to nursing majors to theatre majors, but we’re hoping to grow even more,” Mr. Leflar said.
“We hope to do a showcase of all the dances and combinations that the choreographers have put together,” Ms. Wade said. “Because as a choreographer, getting to see something on stage that you’ve done is an amazing feeling.”
Ms. Wade said the club is different from some other organizations on campus due to the level of student involvement.
“Students themselves are getting to teach something that they’ve created rather than a professor or a student coming in to teach people,” Ms. Wade said. “It’s very much student led and student based and we’re able to create something together.”
For more information about the club, visit www.kent.edu/choreography-club