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Fitness trends on campus: World Dance Day

When you search for “what is dance” you probably get answers like “a form of creative expression through physical movement that includes rhythmic movements that accompany music.” But to a dancer, the word “dance” has so much more meaning and depth. 

Galaxy Saskill, a member of the D and G Dance Company, has trained in classical ballet, contemporary/modern, and hip-hop. She has been dancing for several years and is currently practicing to participate in the Iconic Competition in May and the Bloom Showcase of the D & G Dance Company on June 9 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.

Saskill dances to maintain her cardiovascular health and push her body’s limits. “I work to keep myself in shape enough that I can execute tough choreography with my team. Focus, clarity, teamwork, energy, and structure are all important to my repertoire of dance knowledge and are also skills that can be applied to other aspects of my life.” 

She believes that dance is not only beautiful but also educational. To her, dance is primarily a cultural means of communication and storytelling, passed down from indigenous peoples to the diverse styles we see in mainstream culture today. 

“It is a way to show cultural personality, emotional expression, the limits of the human body, group coordination, and so much more. I think having just a dance day is not enough; I would like to see a reintroduction of dance styles into mainstream education and allow youth to explore bodily movement and expression in a creative way.” 

World Dance Day, celebrated today, April 29, commemorates the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, also known as the Grandfather of the Ballet. To look at what value World Dance Day has to a current ballerina, we turn to Faith Petry, an 18-year-old professional dancer who practices for eight-and-a-half hours per week, sometimes even more, if she has upcoming performances.

Faith Petry is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Polish Folk Dance
Emma Ottosen Faith Petry is trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, and Polish folk dance.

“Dance is so important to me on so many levels. It keeps me physically healthy and is a mental stimulus, but more than that, it is an emotional release. It challenges me in new ways every day but also comforts me and meets me where I am. I don’t know where I’d be without it.”

To her, World Dance Day is an amazing opportunity to share something she loves so intensely with the rest of the world. “To see so many individuals and organizations come together to celebrate this expansive and amazing art form is a beautiful thing. As someone who is incredibly passionate about my heritage and is part of Syrena Seattle Polish Dance, I believe it provides an opening for people of all backgrounds to share their own culture and dance experience.”

Getting back to the question of what dance is, let’s hear what a hip-hop dancer has to say. Christy Inthoulay, once an extremely shy introvert, is now a confident extrovert, all thanks to dancing. Dance helped her become the person she is today. She started learning how to dance and attending more dance classes to diversify her skill set. “I became more and more extroverted and comfortable with myself. Dance is also my creative outlet; performing on stage has become something I enjoy!”

Christy Inthoulay is trained in hip hop, wahacking, and voguing.
Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Christy Inthoulay is trained in hip hop, wahacking, and voguing.

Inthoulay dances for herself and is currently preparing to compete at the K-pop Dance Relay event at the University of Washington. She dances to keep up her fitness. “Instead of running on the treadmill, I like to use dance as my cardio workout.” Dancing is a fun activity for her, which undoubtedly requires endurance, strength, and flexibility. “Every practice counts!”

“Dance is integrated into many different cultures and people’s lives. And World Dance Day is a great way to show and get in touch with all different types of dance styles!”

Vrindha is trained in contemporary, Bollywood, ballet, Latin American, and Indian forms.
Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Vrindha is trained in contemporary, Bollywood, ballet, Latin American, and Indian forms.

As a dancer myself, I cannot overstate my joy in being a part of the dance community. Dance runs through my veins; my mother and my grandmother are both dancers. My love for dance slowly built over the years, evolving from a hobby to a passion that holds a special place in my heart. To me, dance is simply a true form of expression as it expresses my deepest emotions. One can tell so much about a person simply by watching how they dance. 

Dance as a whole and World Dance Day have so much significance in the lives of dancers. On this day, dancers not only have an opportunity to connect with fellow dancers but also connect with non-dancers and give them a taste of what being a dancer is all about. An entire day dedicated to dance helps us honor this form of movement, celebrate fellow dancers, and strengthen the dance community. 

Any form of art makes us human. On this day, let’s celebrate each other, our humanity, and this beautiful art form we call dance.


Vrindha, an international student from India, is fueled by her fervent love for diverse art forms such as dance, drama, music and theatre. Eager to immerse herself in new experiences and broaden her horizons, she sees her involvement with the Collegian as a gateway to both sharing her passions and delving into new realms of knowledge.

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