Starting in winter quarter, SPSCC will be offering ballet and jazz dance classes taught by Jennifer McConnel. Both classes will be held Mondays and Wednesdays with ballet from 12 – 12:50 p.m. and Jazz from 1 – 1:50 p.m.
McConnel was looking for work at the community college level when she learned that SPSCC was looking for a dance instructor. “I jumped at the chance and I am very excited to restart the program.”
McConnel is planning to tailor her classes in a way that students of any age and level — even advanced to professional — can enjoy and get a satisfactory workout. She also encourages all sorts of athletes to consider taking her class. “I believe it will be especially beneficial as cross training for athletes,” said McConnel, “Throughout the years I have trained hockey players, figure skaters, and lacrosse and football players.”
Her classes will include all aspects of dance, including stretching, strength training, exposure to dance steps and choreography, terminology, dance history, and what McConnel calls “dance-specific anatomy and kinesiology.”
No textbooks or footwear will be required for her class. Instead, she only requests a notebook for the study of anatomy and kinesiology and for students to wear form fitting clothing. This allows her to best see and assist in correct placement.
McConnel has been living in the Olympia area for 15 years, and has studied dance her entire life. She began teaching and choreographing at age 15, and has continued since then. Some of her experience includes choreographing The Nutcracker for 5678 Dance Studios in Gig Harbor, choreographing and performing with Tacoma Community College music performances, and directing local dance and competition teams. She has an MA in interdisciplinary Arts and teaches Renaissance History with the University of Washington Tacoma Study Abroad program in Italy during the summer and early fall.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the students, watching the program grow and I feel honored to be a part of it,” said McConnel.