Dancing With Daniela

By: Hannah Willer ‘22

It’s early in the morning and the gym lights are low. All the students slowly file into the gym, where they get ready to warm up. Sleepy eyes scan the large, empty room and shoes get thrown off towards the bleachers. Then everyone is awake. The music is blasting and the students are ready to go! They warm up, following the instruction of their teacher, and the day has begun.

Freshman Daniela Mendez is currently enrolled in Basic Dance, with no previous dance experience, and loving it.

“Basic dance, in my opinion, is one of the best courses Regis Jesuit offers,” said Mendez.

She has only been in this class for two months, but has full confidence in recommending it to any Regis Jesuit student.

“It is a class that you don’t sit around and take notes, but instead you are up and moving,” said Mendez.

In a normal Basic Dance class, the girls warm up and then Mrs. Lynch teaches them the dance in blocks so that they can grasp the material. Mendez appreciates this method of teaching.

Mendez says she is usually clumsy, but has seen an improvement in her coordination and flexibility in the last two months. Basic Dance has taught her more than the material inside the classroom.

The only homework ever given in Basic Dance are journals, where Mrs. Lynch asks questions that help her get to know the girls. Although they are for Mrs. Lynch, sometimes they can be challenging for Mendez to answer.

“Some of the questions really make me think about who I am as a person,” said Mendez.

Daniela Mendez ‘22 smiling for the camara. Photo by: Hannah Willer ‘22

This course, just like any other at Regis Jesuit, reveals something new about each person, but they always have an example to follow, that of their teacher.

“Mrs. Lynch is such a positive and caring teacher, that her example has inspired me to be a better person,” said Mendez.

Hopefully as in any other dance classroom, inspiration fills the air of the girl’s division gym.

Tracing dance all the way back to when it began, it has always been about expression. Whether the dance is sending a sad closed off message or a happy, warm feeling, the movements always make the audience feel a certain way.

“You know, dance is really all about expression. Each dance we have done has had a different type of expression and they have all meant more than just dancing,” said Mendez.  

The Regis Jesuit Girls Division is all about sisterhood. Basic Dance, being a mixed grade class, has brought the sisterhood to life in Daniela Mendez. Having upperclassmen around her in class has helped her to feel more comfortable at Regis Jesuit. She says they have looked out for her in little ways that have made her feel more at home each day.

“Whenever I am struggling with a move they help me out, but I also feel like if I ever needed anything else that they would be there for me,” said Mendez.

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