The Dance Unit


Kim Sayers

Students learn how to dance a variety of ways during their senior gym class.

The dance unit for senior gym classes is back for the first time since Covid. In this unit, senior boys and girls partnered up to learn the salsa, the foxtrot, and the swing over six weeks. Taught by an actual dance teacher, Mr. Fuzak, who came to Benet Academy on Mondays and Tuesdays during gym periods, the seniors went the most in-depth in the swing. They learned moves like the pretzel and the wrap and more technical components like footwork and basic spins.  

According to Ms. Sayers, the consensus is that most seniors enjoyed the dance unit, although some thought that it was slightly awkward. She explained that the basics learned throughout this unit can be used in the circumstances outside of gym class, like weddings or even school dances. Dancing the swing, foxtrot, or salsa can be easy if one person can lead, either the boy or the girl. The gym teachers sent out a google form right before Christmas Break with general questions about the unit, but mainly for the Dancing with the Stars competition in which one girl and one boy voted by their classmates as the best dancer will receive a prize. The classes will find out the winners after the break.  

Dancing has been a unit unlike normal games played in gym class, like saturn ball or flag football, and many students have things to say about it. Senior Shelby Flynn shared, “I honestly think it’s kind of fun, a good change of pace, a good skill to know, and a good way to get to know more people but it’s a bit awkward and trying to keep some of the boys on the beat is brutal.” 

Although having to be in close proximity might have made things awkward at times, some seniors enjoyed getting to know their classmates better, like Kovas Jeleniauskas, who said, “I think I got to meet/get closer (literally) with more people than I would in any other typical gym unit. It’ll probably help/be fun to use in the future too.” Seniors only learned snippets of three dances, but there are many more that they could have learned. Out of the swing, the foxtrot, and the salsa, there was not a clear favorite, although Luke Bafia shared, “My favorite dance we learned would be the salsa because of the versatility and upbeat nature of it.” 

Overall, the dance unit shook up the usual gym class scene and was generally well-received. Although it is over now, the gym teachers are hopeful the students will remember these dances for later in life, and underclassmen can look forward to this unit in their gym classes when they are seniors.