If not actively engaged in the arts it can be easy to forget there are more than actors and painters on campus. Dancing is alive and well at Geneseo and senior Joshua Lang says he is thrilled to be a part of the program.
Arriving in Geneseo in spring 2009, Lang was not planning to focus on dance. “I had done musicals since I was 12, and I took lessons at GCC [Genesee Community College],” he said. “Dancing is a big minor though, and I got involved in classes here, which I enjoyed.”
Lang hadn’t really identified himself as a dancer prior to enrollment as a theatre major either. “It wasn’t until someone called me a dancer that I really started thinking of myself as one.” Since then he has declared a dance minor and is usually seen near or in the dance studio.
Lang said he has auditioned for student productions but never been cast. “The dance ensemble sort of became my home because of that,” he said. His favorite dance to learn and perform was a cut short piece from the dance ensemble because his strengths as a dancer were utilized.
Lang noted Rudolph Nureyev as a dancing role model and favorite icon. “He didn’t start off well, but he was not afraid to keep trying and he enjoyed working,” Lang said. “Nureyev just kept working hard and he eventually became the best.”
With Nureyev as his primary role model, Josh’s choice of ballet as his favorite style of dance isn’t a stretch. That hasn’t stopped him, however, from trying more “recreational” forms. “I’ve skipped and danced in Wal-Mart before,” he admitted.
Dancing certainly has its own risks, the worst of which, Lang said, is the risk of injuries. “Injuries are just terrible for a dancer because our tool is our bodies. Not only are you not able to do the dance but then our regular activities are more painful too.”
“People are intimidated by dancing,” Lang said. “Everyone was told at one point by someone that they couldn’t dance. It’s a cultural universal though; people don’t exist without dancing.”