City Dance, WU student teach dance for all levels

Sabrina Spence | Staff Writer

Wednesday night, senior Brandon Krisko taught a musical theater jazz class in an unusual place—a Simon Hall classroom. A senior studying Drama, Psychology and Design, Krisko who recently played the role of Frank-N-Furter in the Performing Arts Department’s “The Rocky Horror Show,” led the class with the joyful attitude and skill familiar to those who know him. Here, he took on a different role: guest dance teacher.

Having taught dance for about four years, Krisko led the class in a choreographed routine to “Sober” by Lorde from her second studio album, “Melodrama.” With chairs pushed to the far edges of Simon 18, Brandon led the class through a series of sashays, body rolls and passes. I tried to keep up off to the side because I am by no means a dancer in any way, shape or form. Even as I meekly followed along in the back corner of the room, Krisko still made me feel welcome despite my lack of formal training.

There were roughly 15 people taking the class, all of varying skill levels. Some were easily spotted as dancers and others were more like me, wanting to try something new and having a love of dance despite a lack of experience. The class was taught in conjunction with City Dance, a student group on campus funded through Student Union.

For most people, dance isn’t something they get to do often, but would love to do more. Brandon shares that sentiment, because “dance is a part of me I don’t get to connect with very often here at Wash. U.” he said. But he sees teaching through City Dance as “not only a great opportunity to connect with it within [himself] but also with a community of dancers.”

Krisko also has a personal relationship with the dance studio beyond teaching classes. “City Dance is an organization that was started by a friend of mine for her thesis project in dance,” he said, “and it’s an organization that brings dance classes to both the Wash. U. community and the St. Louis community at-large.”

City Dance brings dance to Wash. U students and the St. Louis community by enabling community members to gain the experience necessary to teach dance and receive feedback from their peers. The goal of City Dance is to teach free community classes to kids in the community who don’t have access to dance classes otherwise.

When asked why he wanted to teach this class, Krisko said “I taught with City Dance last year and I absolutely loved it. It gives Wash. U. students an opportunity to practice teaching.”

When asked about his favorite style of dance, he responded quickly and earnestly with “tap.”

Krisko, who graduates this coming winter from Wash. U. plans to keep dance in his life post-graduation. “I’m hoping to continue taking classes, teaching class and trying to dance as much as possible,” he said.