WKU student dance organization works beyond dance

Griffin Fletcher

The National Dance Education Organization WKU Student Chapter does more than just dance.

The group works to provide networking opportunities, honor societies, journals and research and advocacy tools for administrators and students in the field of dance arts education, according to the NDEO website. The WKU Student Chapter lives out this mission by providing its own interlocked honor society, the National Honor Society of Dance Arts, to its members, engaging with the Bowling Green community and performing at local galleries and on campus for free.

WKU Student Chapter President Trevor Edwards, a senior and dance major interested in eventually owning his own nonprofit dance company, said the group has helped him prepare for his future.

“It’s allowed me to gain experience on how to organize events, how to organize fundraisers,” Edwards said. “It’s directly correlated with what I want to do in the future.”

As president, Edwards said it has been encouraging to watch the group’s members grow as dancers and active community residents.

“They are so much more than dancers,” Edwards said, referring to the group’s work outside of WKU.

Edwards said in a text message that the group is very committed to extending beyond itself, offering two-to-three free dance classes on campus every semester, called Dance Craze, participating in fundraising efforts and performing even at the Bowling Green International Festival.

“It is extremely important for us to maintain our outreach programs with local artists and other community organizations,” Edwards said in the text. “This helps us to spread our art to many different audiences in hopes that they might better understand the beauty and benefits of dance.”

The group consists of 25 members, primarily dance majors, who meet weekly to discuss outreach events and opportunities, Edwards said. Though members in the group must attend dance classes at WKU, anyone is welcome to the group’s events.

Edwards said in the text that the group’s fundraising ventures are used to gather money for performances and scholarships, which are awarded annually through the WKU Student Chapter to two members who demonstrate the group’s ideals and goals. The group also uses its fundraising to raise awareness among the WKU and Bowling Green communities, he said in the text.

“We do have some small fundraising events each year in order to provide for our organizational events as well as for the two scholarships we give out each year,” Edwards said in the text message. “Our goal this year was to give out two $200 scholarships and we reached that goal with the help of those different fundraisers.”

Freshman Nicole Christensen, a dance and journalism major from Nashville, joined the group her first semester at WKU. She said the group is always working to engage with other students and community members.

“We’re trying to be the force that brings dance and theatre, particularly dance, down the Hill,” Christensen said, in regards to Gordon Wilson Hall, where many of WKU’s dance classes are held, located atop the Hill. “We’ve tried to collaborate with Bowling Green and with the WKU campus community to bring dance into everyone’s lives.”

The group hosted one of its free Dance Craze events on Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on South Lawn. The group will be looking to host more events starting next semester.

Reporter Griffin Fletcher can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].