On Friday, April 20, Sara Maslanka, artistic director at the Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, spoke to students in Dance Studio 1, Dance Studio 2 and Honors Dance classes.
Maslanka discussed her dance background with students, from high school to college and beyond, and her dedication to pursuing dance as a career despite pressures to follow a different path. Students were inspired by this commitment and learned about persistence, sacrifice and setting goals.
“It was quite down to earth and honest,” says Dance Teacher Evan Hoffman. “Ms. Maslanka spoke about her creative process and her leadership at the Chicago Danztheater Ensemble—how she creates dances, how she works with a diverse array of artists and performers and how she helps to make work that has a social justice impact through its social, political or cultural relevance.”
Maslanka also led the classes in an improvisational warmup and floor exercises that challenged the dancers to take chances and use their own creativity and bodies to follow Maslanka’s prompts. Students then had the opportunity to create some of their own dances based on one of Maslanka’s current pieces about public faces versus private faces, which explores what individuals choose to show and what they choose to hide. “It was very interesting,” says Hoffman.
“Ms. Maslanka’s message about service to the community through dance, individual creativity and following your passion aligns well with Loyola’s Jesuit mission,” Hoffman continues.
Maslanka is a performer, choreographer and teaching artist native to the Chicagoland area. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Pedagogy from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters of Science in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. Since her studies, Maslanka has been committed to the practice of bridging art and science. Learn more at http://www.danztheatre.org/staff--ensemble.html.