Former student Eliana Girard inspires Bak dancers


Samantha White

Inspired by Eliana Gerard’s talent, the dance majors mimic her movements. The students were taught to move freely and live everyday as a dancer. Hayden Pontius, seventh grade dance major, said, “This was the most fun class I have had in a long time. Eliana was so inspiring and talented.”

The National Junior Honor Society for Dance Arts (NJHSDA) was a group that honored prestigious dance members and offered unique opportunities for dance majors.

“NJHSDA is a program that recognizes the academic and artistic achievements of dancers in grades six to eight. Our school has its own chapter of this organization, where we donate money to the BAK dance department and other causes, and volunteer at events,” Lara Symons, eighth grade dance major, said.

The most recent event that the society put on was a class taught by professional dancer Eliana Girard.

“Lara Symons is the president of Bak’s Chapter of the NJHSDA and it was her idea to offer the class,” Martha Satinoff, dance teacher, said.

Eliana Gerard went on tour with Taylor Swift, Cirque Du Soleil, and won season nine of “So you think you can dance” and was a past Bak student.

“I loved Eliana, her personality was just so “out there” and normally teachers are strict and perfect. She embraced her flaws and herself.” Hayden Pontius, seventh grade dance major, said.

During the class, Girard talked about how important it was to be careful in every move you do, you are a dancer from the moment you wake up. “A good dancer is a smart dancer,” Girard said.

“Eliana’s class was a contemporary improv class, a class that is very different from the others that we take at school. We got the chance to explore movement in a new way,” Symons said.

Last year Girard taught a class, and everyone enjoyed it so NJHSDA hosted the event again to give everyone the unique opportunity.

“I really enjoyed this class because I learned a new technique and to be myself. We started simple and escalated quickly,” Pontius said. “It was the most fun class I have had in a long time.”