- 2020-2021 UPDATE: Unfortunately, we are unable to host virtual classes this year due to the Union's policy for club sports.
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The Dance Club offers classes in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and hip hop. Classes are held weekly during the academic year. Every spring, we hold a recital in which dancers from each of the classes perform choreographed numbers. No experience is required and we encourage dancers of all experience levels to join!
- We welcome all dancers ages 14 and older! Note that classes consist of mostly college-aged students and adults.
- The first week of classes is FREE!
- For RPI students the semester fee is $65 for unlimited classes.
- For Non-RPI students the semester fee is $100 for unlimited classes.
- All classes are held in the upstairs studios at the RPI Mueller Center, Room 3.
Jazz6:30 - 8:00 PM
Contemporary Ballet8:00 - 9:30 PM
Beginner Ballet6:30 - 8:00 PM
8:00 - 9:30 PM
Beginner Hip Hop6:30 - 7:30 PM
7:30 - 8:30 PM
Advanced Hip Hop
Tap6:30 - 7:30 PM
Variations7:30 - 9:00 PM
Make-Up ClassesBy Necessity
Wide variety of dance styles
Instructor: Robin Gifford
Jazz uses a base of ballet technique and then layers it with traditional jazz movements. These movements include kicks, leaps, and turns. The class structure is usually a warm up with stretching and strengthening exercises followed by across-the-floor progressions and combinations.
Instructor: Gina Grasso
Tap is based on tap shoes, which have a thick metal on the bottom that's used to make unique sounds. Students will learn coordination and terminology and then apply rhythm into a tap routine. The class will have a warm-up to properly loosen the ankles and knees and then move into center floor work.
Instructor: Robin Gifford
Both the beginner and advanced ballet classes begin with exercises at the barre and then move to center for combinations that incorporate the movements practiced at barre in a more performance oriented fashion.
- Beginner: Perfect for those who have no prior ballet training. More advanced students are also welcome.
- Intermediate/Advanced: A class for students who have prior ballet experience, or have taken the beginner class at RPI.
Instructor: Erin Dooley
Contemporary Ballet is a mix of classical ballet and modern dance. It adapts ballet choreography to today by allowing a greater range of movement than the strict body lines of traditional ballet. This class starts off with a warm up of classical ballet and then combines it with modern dance to move the body in a variety of ways. The dances in this class combine emotions, technique, and the use of space for a beautiful end result.
Instructor: Sean J. Iacopelli
This class will introduce students to the history of Hip Hop culture with basic moves and original choreography in order to build stamina and increase musicality. Each class begins with a warm up and stretch followed by across the floor and a short combo set to hip hop music. Each class will focus on different hip hop styles, breaking, dancehall, and traditional hip hop moves to develop body balance and coordination.
- Beginner: No previous experience necessary just a willingness to have fun and let go!
- Intermediate/Advanced: This class moves at a faster pace than beginner hip hop and dancers are encouraged to have an intermediate to advanced background.
Instructor: Rachel Toups
Variations is an hour long ballet class focused on learning variations (solo dances by characters) from classical ballets. Throughout the year, we will learn several variations and choose one or two to perform in the recital as a group. The class will begin with a short warm-up barre, and then the rest of the class will be focused on learning the variation. This class is more appropriate for students in advanced ballet, as the pace of the class will be semi-fast, but those with at least some prior ballet training are welcome.
Ballet & Jazz Instructor
Robin began Ballet lessons at age four with former Rockette Agnes Reeves. She continued her dance studies adding Jazz, Tap, and Modern. During High School she spent a summer at Jacob's Pillow, where she studied with Lila York, and a semester as an intern for The New York State Theater Institute. She was a teaching assistant at SUNY Buffalo and also at SUNY Albany, where she earned her BA. In addition to teaching for the RPI Dance Club, she has taught for EBA, Robin's Academy of Dance, and the Dance Experience. Her choreography has appeared at EBA's Brave New Dances, The Choreographer's Asylum, Capital Rep's production of Time Warner Cable's Miss/ter Television Pagent, and The Troy Music Hall's Duke Ellington's: Best of the Sacred Symphonies. She currently teaches adaptive dance for Washington, Warren, Albany ARC and Schenectady ARC. She also teaches competition classes at The Dance Experience.
Sean J. Iacopelli
Hip Hop Instructor
Sean has choreographed hip hop since 2006. Sean has experience in hip hop, lyrical, jazz, breaking, modern, and contemporary dance styles. Sean delivers an array of funky hip hop choreography/combinations mixing styles including locking, waving, B-boy, street and urban. Sean works with all ages and instructs a competitive dance team. He also is acting Administrative Artistic Director of a non-profit professional dance organization offering international artist exchange programs which contract directly with the City of Albany. Places he has instructed include The College of Saint Rose, Saratoga Performing Arts Center/SPAC, National Museum of Dance, Boys & Girls Club of America, Albany Police Athletic League, & Albany Dance & Fitness. He especially enjoys the confidence, character, and cultural growth that the art of dance helps bring to communities/the world. "Why not Use Dance to Help Change the World?"
Contemporary Ballet Instructor
Erin has been dancing for the past 20 years with a focus in ballet, modern, and contemporary. She grew up in Saratoga Springs, where she began her training at Saratoga City Ballet. During high school, she moved to New York City to dance in the Alvin Ailey Junior Division, as well as Joffrey Ballet School. Afterwards, she completed the 2-year Trainee Program at Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. Erin then went on to study dance at SUNY Purchase, graduating summa cum laude in 2019. During her time there she worked with manyesteemed choreographers, as well as studied abroad in The Netherlands. She is currently a professional modern dancer with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, resident company of The Egg in Albany.
Gina has been tapping for 19 years. She grew up taking classes in Schenectady. Then she choreographed and taught classes during her undergraduate time at Yale. Since then she has taken classes in NYC and locally to continue to hone her skills.
Rachel is a senior majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at RPI. She has been dancing ballet since she was 2 and a half, and is a volunteer teacher for the Variations class. She currently is an apprentice with the regional professional company Dance Prism in Concord, Massachusetts, and spends her weekends going home to rehearse for their upcoming shows.
Meet the officers
Anika is a junior dual majoring in Math and Business Management. Her favorite style of dance is contemporary. She has been dancing for 13 years.
Morgan is senior majoring in Applied Physics. Her favorite styles of dance are modern and musical theater but she also loves ballet and jazz. She has been dancing for 8 years.
Erin is a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Her favorite styles of dance are hip hop and ballet. She has been dancing for 16 years.
Erica is a senior dual majoring in Computer Science and ITWS. Her favorite styles of dance are hip hop and contemporary. She has been dancing for 7 years.