Every semester, the Bakersfield College beginning jazz dance class takes their moves out of the dance room to show off what they’ve learned to their peers.
Dance teacher Eve-Lyne Thomas said this year’s dance was the hardest she’s ever choreographed, but her class was ready for it.
“It was a challenging routine,” said Thomas. “I think they did very well. They were willing to be challenged, always practiced before and after class.”
Thomas said the reason for the difficulty was because the dance is done in partners, so in order to understand the choreography, the dancers had to learn both parts.
“These are total beginners, and it’s so rewarding that they’re moving and learning technique and enjoying themselves,” she said. “To me, it’s always rewarding when a beginner is out there dancing.”
Despite the damp conditions, the dancers had a great time performing.
“It’s nice [for them] to have that experience, not just dance for each other, to dance for others,” she said.
She said, as long as she’s physically able to, she’ll continue teaching dance.
“I’m not afraid to say it, this is my 30th year and I still love what I do,” she said. “People ask me, ‘when’re you going to retire?’ I’m a dancer. You retire when you die.”
With budget cuts looming over classes such as hers for a while, she said she feels blessed to be able to do what she’s doing.
“I’m always on pins and needles, but I’m very thankful I’m still here,” she said. “Next fall is a question mark.”