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Tat­tering pointe shoes lay next to stacks of school books, exhausting practice coupled with rig­orous aca­d­emics. This is the world of the dancer at Hillsdale.

Two stu­dents, senior Sarah Schweizer and sophomore Priscilla Larson, want to take their com­mitment to dance even further and introduce Hillsdale’s dancers to a new dance hon­orary.

The National Honor Society for Dance Arts is a nationally-rec­og­nized hon­orary, which dance director Holly Hobbs said requires artistic merit, lead­ership, and aca­demic achievement.

“It will bring our dance stu­dents together,” Hobbs said. “Focusing on the more social aspects of par­tic­i­pating in dance.”

Schweizer said dance is one of the only places she meets under­classmen.

“It’s nice to know other dancers and hang out with them and do things only other dancers can under­stand,” Schweizer said.

Although the hon­orary is still in the planning stages, Larson said she has lofty plans for it.

“I’ve been waiting for this forever,” Larson said. “In my ideal world, we would do lots of per­for­mances because I love to dance.”

However, she and Schweizer both said they need to talk to the other dancers about what kind of com­mitment everyone can make to more per­for­mances.

Cur­rently, dancers only have one chance a year to perform, the Tower Dancer’s annual spring concert. But, Larson said, the Tower Dancers requires a big com­mitment that not all girls can juggle with their aca­demic schedule.

“We want a better support system and a way to stay in shape,” Larson said. “That’s hard to do with just one dance class a week and you can get dis­couraged really easily.”

Larson said the hon­orary would provide dancers the chance to dance in smaller per­for­mances throughout the semester, bringing the dance com­munity together without destroying their aca­demic achieve­ments.

The hon­orary wouldn’t be con­fined to more per­for­mances. Larson and Schweizer said they’d love to go on excur­sions to see other per­for­mances or find a way to give back to the com­munity.

Because Tower Dancers focuses pri­marily on modern dance, Larson hopes their hon­orary can explore dif­ferent kinds of dancing or dance per­for­mances with other on-campus groups.

“We could combine ballet with ballroom,” Larson said. “Or have musi­cians play for a per­for­mance.”

Larson added that the hon­orary is not girls-only and the female dancers would love male dancers to join.

“I love part­nering so much,” Larson said. “It would expand the dif­ferent kind of things we could do.”

According to Schweizer, the hardest part about doing more per­for­mances will be finding an audience — even more dif­ficult than finding male dancers at Hillsdale.

“I’ve met people who didn’t even realize there was a dance program,” Schweizer said.

To combat the problem, she said the hon­orary may perform in uncon­ven­tional places, such as the quad, where people would have a hard time avoiding them.

“We want to stress the impor­tance of dance,” Larson added. “Hillsdale puts so much stress on aca­d­emics, we don’t always look to the arts.”

Larson said that con­tra­dicts a liberal arts edu­cation, and although Hillsdale has strong music and arts pro­grams, dance often gets pushed aside.

“Dancing is really important,” Larson said. “It expresses emo­tions you can’t with words.”

She said stu­dents may gain a greater appre­ci­ation of dance if they are exposed to it more often.

“Think about pointe shoes,” Larson said. “People think dance shoes are all pretty, but the shoes actually look ugly after they get used so much. But some­thing so beau­tiful can come from them.”