Community dance class provides positive space for students


Photo by Kieran Kowalski

Daria’s Dance is a dance class run by Daria Gordhammer. She teaches classes for  2-3 year-olds, 3-5 year-olds, 7-8 year-olds, 8-9 year-olds, and 10+ year-olds. She focuses on making it a fun, low key, affordable class.

Daria’s middle school class meets every Monday, from 5:35 to 6:10 pm. She teaches her classes in her basement studio, which gives her classes a relaxed, comfortable impression. Classes start by going over what they did the previous week, and reviewing some moves. The class is centered around modern jazz and tap dance.

For the first few minutes, Daria and her students revise some moves they’ve been working on. Gordhammer’s way of teaching is more relaxed than a competition studio, and her target is to motivate her students and give them a safe place to express their love for dance, without intense scrutiny. After students are warmed up, they move on to a dance routine they’ve been working on. After working on their routine, with 10 minutes left of class, they switch to their tap dancing.

“It’s really fun and laid back,” 8th-grader, Eva Gordhammer said. “Everyone is accepted there, no matter the skill. Everyone supports each other.” 8th-grader Olivia Montgomery agreed. “It’s really fun and we learn a lot, while also being able to spend time with my friends and dance.”

Each student brings their own pair of tap shoes along with them to class. Daria moves the floor mats to make room for tap. The downside of working in a comfortable home setting instead of a full sized studio is definitely the space issue. With only a small floor to work with, it’s hard to do full moves and transitions without some awkwardness.

It’s really fun and we learn a lot, while also being able to spend time with my friends and dance.”

— Olivia Montgomery, 8th grade

Daria has always been interested in dance, and has been dancing since she was 4 years old. At first, she started in gymnastics class, but she didn’t enjoy it. When her mom switched her to dance, she found her passion, and even met her husband through swing dancing classes. Gordhammer uses the skills learned through those classes and self taught moves to her advantage, and teaches her classes with those. She used to teach at the Lakeville Parks and Recreation center, but after her sixth child was born, she started working at her house. While teaching at the Lakeville Parks and Rec. center, she also taught the Lakeville Color Guard team.

Daria’s Dance is a very laid-back class, and no prior experience is required to join. The studio is a very positive environment, with no elements of competition whatsoever. Students love the class, the teacher, and the dance.