Middlesex County Vo-Tech Dance Students Chosen For Elite NYU Program

EAST BRUNSWICK — Two dance students from the East Brunswick Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools are participating in a highly selective program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Manhattan.

Rachel Stanislawczyk of East Brunswick and Hana Newfeld of Colonia, both juniors, are among 15 high school dance students from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania chosen for the Future Dancers and Dancemakers Workshop, an intensive program that will run for 14 Saturdays. Their selection for the free program followed a review of applications and personal interviews.

The students said their work with MCVTS dance teacher Cleo Mack had them fully prepared for the intensive training at NYU.

“All of the techniques that I learned from Miss Mack and this program are exactly what we’re learning there,” Newfeld said. “We understand everything.”

“We were very, very well-prepared,” Stanislawczyk added. “It makes me appreciate what I have here.”

Mack said she encourages her students to audition as often as possible and to take advantage of being so near New York City, “the center of the dance world.” She said Stanislawczyk and Newfeld are making connections now that will benefit them as they pursue their studies and careers.

“They’ve grown very significantly in the last two years,” she said. “It’s a very competitive field. You need to get out and see and be seen.”

Intended to enhance students’ current training, the NYU program focuses on technical training, choreography and performance. It is taught by second-year graduate students in the Tisch dance program. Students also hear from professional choreographers and Tisch faculty.

Students take two dance classes during each Saturday session, one in ballet and one in modern dance. They also study dance composition, improvisation and repertory.

“We do a lot of improvisation and we do our own choreography,” Newfeld said.

“It’s a pretty long day, but it’s so worth it,” Stanislawczyk said. “I’m in the life of a dancer. It’s awesome.”

Applicants were required to show a strong technical foundation in dance and choreography, academic achievement and an ability to collaborate with other students.

The program, which began in February, will conclude with a concert of student work in May in collaboration with students in music and film programs. The girls also are preparing for the year-ending MCVTS dance show, which will be held May 24 and 25 in the auditorium on the East Brunswick Campus.

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