By Jacqueline Chase
Avirah, this university’s Israeli dance troupe, attended an Israeli dance workshop in Philadelphia on Feb. 16 and 17.
The weekend included a workshop where students learned Harkada, a type of dance where songs are assigned choreography that is learned throughout the Israeli dance community.
Aliza Mintz, a freshman information science major, said the workshop lasted about four and a half hours with four teachers teaching them dances.
“It was really a great time to be with all my friends and to learn news dances that we didn’t know so that we could come back and teach them to others,” Mintz said.
Members of Avirah also enjoyed an Israeli dance party on Saturday night.
This was the first time Avirah traveled to a festival in Philadelphia. Co-president Jessica Morris, a senior English major, said she has seen the club grow in the past four years. Last year, Avirah had their first annual showcase on campus.
“Throughout my four years at college, it has really been a constant and a community for me,” Morris said. “I’m really very lucky and excited that I’ve had the opportunity to be a leader in this group.”
Mintz, who is part of Avirah but traveled with Kesema and Yesodot, middle school and high school troupes, said she quickly felt close to the members of Avirah and views them as extended family.
Community Outreach Liaison Aliza Silverman, a senior Jewish studies major, shared a similar sentiment.
“We’re like one big family,” Silverman said.“The Hebrew word for family is Mishpaha so we call ourselves Mishpaha Avirah.”
The group practices twice weekly and plans to attend three festivals in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York, in addition to the showcase this semester. The showcase will take place on May 5 in the Colony Ballroom in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.