Iona’s Arts and Languages Department’s annual Dance Symposium returns for in-person event


From Arts and Languages Department

The 2021 Dance Symposium allowed for students to come together to engage in the art of dance.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Iona College’s Arts and Languages Department held its annual Dance Symposium on Oct. 4. The event allowed students to participate in a variety of different lessons from trained professionals that highlighted different styles of dance and cultures from across the world.  


The 2021 Dance Symposium marks the first in-person return of the annual event since the beginning of the pandemic. In the past, only select dance students were allowed to attend the event physically while recordings of the event were uploaded on Iona’s website. In a much welcome change for this year, any and all interested students were able to attend in person and participate in the event. Students who may have had no prior experience in knowing how to dance could leave each event having learned new skills and techniques to practice.  


The event consisted of five different dance showcases that were hosted throughout the day, each one highlighting a unique dancing style. The genres showcased ranged from jazz and musical theatre to salsa and Argentinian Tango style dancing. When taken all together, the event highlighted both the unique choreography work and technique involved in the art of dance as well as the cultural significance and importance of different styles as well. The variety of the lessons allowed for students of all backgrounds to experience and learn more about the style and culture of different forms of dance. 


 The event featured a variety of different guests artists and talent to help students learn and engage with the art of dance. Each event was taught by a professional instructor such as Dr. Laxmi Parida, who guided students through the art of Tango as well as Andrea Markus, who led the West African dance section of the event.  


Director of the Iona College Arts and Languages Department and curator of the symposium, Dr. Hannah Park, writes on how the event was an opportunity for students to come together and learn through the art of dance.  


“I hope that you will find inspiration and a reason to dance for every minute and to celebrate the community through this experience… may this be an opportunity for everyone to develop new ideas and thoughts about dance—including its powerful potential for understanding diversity, community, inclusion, and sustainability,” Dr. Park said. 


The Fall 2021 Dance Symposium is a welcome return to in-person events for Iona College’s Arts and Languages Department and highlights the importance and benefits that the art of dance provides within a physical setting.