Dancing has made its way into the ACU curriculum with the addition of two new dance courses offered to all students.
The courses, ballet and modern dance, are offered in the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation & Wellness Center. People who wish to participate in these classes must register and pay for the course. There is also a group exercise dance technique class offered which is not for credit. A $60 per-semester fee is required to become a member of the Rec Center. Every student at ACU is a member of the Rec Center, making dance classes available to all students who fill out the appropriate waiver.
Jackie Beth Shilcutt, adjunct faculty, is the instructor for ballet and modern dance. Shilcutt studied modern dance at the University of North Texas. She picked up ballet at the age of 3 and has kept at it since then.
“I really work towards incorporating confidence, safe movement practices, strong bodies and I try to challenge my classes to push beyond what they think they can do and to try something different,” Shilcutt said. “Even though it’s instructive, it’s also creative for them”
Shilcutt has a history with teaching dance at ACU. Last semester, she taught modern dance only to theatre majors to help with their musical theatre program. The two new courses are open to all students including theatre majors looking to get help with musical theatre, but theatre majors still have their own courses.
“We think we’ll appeal to them here [at the Rec Center] rather than going somewhere else,” said Joe Bell, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. “It’s certainly an opportunity here for them now.”
Bell had a part in bringing dance courses to ACU, but gave the choice of what dance courses to teach to Shilcutt, who chose ballet and modern dance.
“Dance is part of our academic field,” Bell said. “We felt we had to accommodate students who are interested in dance.”
Dancing in an academic setting is not in violation of the dance policy at ACU. The dance policy only prohibits dancing at ACU sponsored events unless approved otherwise, allowing academic dancing to be offered as a course.
“Dance is our medium of communication,” Shilcutt said. “It’s another way to embody life.”
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