Tap dancing, swing, hip-hop, jazz and belly dancing were a few of the genres performed at the “African-American Influence on Dance” college hour event from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Feb. 26 in the dance room PE 235.
Sunny Smith, the department chair for dance began the event by commenting on the influence of African-American dancing.
“The pathways of all dance, every single form, is based off of African dance; Irish dance and even the chicken dance,” said Smith.
“It is not choreographed. They’re a group, they’re a family, they’re a tribe. The drum is the heartbeat of the dance and of the people.”
There were eighteen different dances performed with special guest performances by SBAD, Sacramento/Black Art of Dance, from Sacramento State, and hip hop dancers from Natomas.
The first performance was done in the traditional style of African-American dance to recorded drumming from Sudan.
“The drum is the heartbeat of the dance and of the people,” said Smith.
Shannon Carroll, American River College student and dance major, danced in nearly all of the performances including but not limited to, jazz, swing and contemporary.
“My first love will always be ballet but after getting dreads I couldn’t dance for Sacramento ballet anymore,” said Carroll
Erin Edwards, ARC student and dance major, also danced in many of the performances and grew up dancing ballet with Carroll.
When asked about the experience, Carroll said, “It was really fun. I don’t think I could decide which performance I liked the best because I liked them all.”
ARC offers an AA transferable degree in dance that requires the completion of general education and eighteen units of upper level dance classes.
“There are seven levels for dance classes but if you grew up dancing your whole life then you can start at level four,” said Smith.
The ARC dance department is going to be having a dance concert March 15 and 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the main stage in the theater building.