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Senior’s tight schedule includes dance classes

In a typical week Susan Schneider works 40 hours at a Binghamton dance studio while juggling a 17-credit course load. Her love for dance drove her to add six free clas-ses for Binghamton University students to that schedule. Schneider, a 21-year-old senior, hopes to become a high school English teacher and own a dance studio.

But for now, this creative writing major from Vestal is focusing on short-term goals. She’s planning a performance with her Just For Fun (JFF) dance classes and working to maintain her current 3.5 GPA.

Homework is squeezed in between her weekly activities, which also include the two hours Schneider works at Children’s Dance Theater, a campus group that choreographs dances and performs them at local elementary schools, and Puppy Runs, a program aimed at preventing shelters in Ohio from killing healthy dogs.

Schneider, who has been dancing since she was 6, had spare time on Tuesdays and Sundays and decided to start JFF this semester.

“I just wanted to do something with no stress,” Schneider said of the 45-minute classes, which include two levels of hip-hop and jazz, tap and modern lyrical ballet.

Schneider exudes an energy that keeps participants smiling throughout these highly organized sessions. She rarely makes mistakes teaching as she dances along with her students. Schneider said the relaxed atmosphere of the classes, which require no audition or experience, explains the 75-person response she received just from posting fliers.

“It gives you more options,” said Kimberly Campbell, 18, a freshman from the Bronx who takes hip-hop and jazz with JFF. “I was looking for a dance class and I found one, so I was really happy — and it’s free!”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08