An inside look at the life of a dancer

There’s often a misconception that dancing is just a feminine hobby. However, it’s more than that. It’s an intense art form, a challenging sport that requires strength, agility and endurance.

Sophomore Liat Roth is like most UMKC students, but what makes her stand out is the fact that she’s part of the UMKC Conservatory of Dance.

She started dancing when she was 3 years old, but decided she wanted to do ballet professionally at age 10.

“I’ve always loved ballet, but it was one of my earlier ballet teachers that made me appreciate it a lot,” said Roth. “I wanted to carry on the spirit and heart of it.”

Roth decided to dance at UMKC because of the great faculty. She explained how the Conservatory of Dance has a good combination of physical dance instruction and curricular teachings.

All of this is hard work. Roth said whenever people find out she’s in the Conservatory majoring in performance and choreography, they think her life in college is easy, which is not the case.

“You’re pretty much dedicating your physical body to education,” explained Roth. “You spend all your time from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. constantly moving and rehearsing, and you wake up in the morning and do it all over again.”

Roth is beyond grateful for the on-campus sauna she feels heals her body. She also participates in yoga and goes to the gym to be as athletically fit as she can.

A misconception many people have is that dancers barely eat to stay as skinny as possible. According to Roth, this isn’t true. Dancers need as much food as they can get, so they can keep their energy up.

A concern that Roth has is the fact that the conservatory has outgrown the confines of its building.
“It gets so crowded in the basement,” she said.

She believes the university needs a new performing arts center, and that it should be close to campus so that freshman dancers can have a greater “college experience.”

Roth also said it’s important for students to support the conservatory’s dance performances.

The next dance show at UMKC will be February 15 and 16 at White Hall in the Performing Arts Center. All shows are free for students with their UMKC I.D.

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