SAMARA BENZA, Asst. Features Editor—Two freshmen are bringing Ballet club back onto Denison’s stage.

Nicole Kleem ‘23, studying psychology, from Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Jaelyn Roth ‘23, majoring in physics from Milford, Connecticut, reignited Denison’s ballet club. At ballet club they conduct “a pretty standard ballet class,” Roth explains.

Roth has been dancing nearly her whole life and Kleem started dancing when she was three. Roth explained that ballet was a big part of her life and missed ballet. She found it important to start up the ballet club on campus for both herself and others. Both Roth and Kleem agree that it is a great form of exercise and helps relax the mind.

Roth hopes the ballet club will “provide some ballet opportunities for other students who also feel it as missing from their Denison experience.” Kleem says, “Ballet is also the foundation for other dance forms, therefore it is beneficial to take ballet classes, especially if you are involved in other forms of dance.”

There used to be a ballet club at Denison several years ago, but Roth speculates that all of its active members graduated and no one took over. Kleem and Roth both looked forward to being a part of the ballet club when they got on campus and were disappointed when they discovered it no longer exists. So they instilled the help of Dr. Gill Miller, a dance and women’s and gender studies professor to advise the club.

Their first class was at the beginning of November and had guest teacher Robert Cole help out. Cole works for Denison Campus Safety and is the artistic director for the Central Ohio Youth Ballet and founder of The Ballet Academy in Newark. The Academy and Denison work together allowing students to take classes for free with their Denison ID.

Kleem explains that ballet is different for everyone and “ is a form of art that uses so many different muscles in your body, it’s a whole body workout.” For herself, she finds that “dancing, and moving around clears [her] head and enables one to express themselves through the movements.”

Though the club is just starting off, Roth and Kleem have big dreams for it. Eventually, they want to put on performances for the Denison community and take trips into Columbus and Neward to see other ballet performances.
Students can expect a combination of classic ballet steps to warm up that will improve technique over time. But no worries if you don’t have ballet experience. Roth says that “since the majority of classes are student taught, it is a low pressure environment for students who may have always wanted to try ballet.”

They welcome higher level ballet dancers too and can personalize the class depending on the experience level of the participants.