By Jessa Glassman ’20
Joe Schenck, director of the dance program, is away on medical leave. He left on Dec. 15, the Thursday before winter break. While he is on leave, current Introduction to Contemporary Dance teacher Melissa Schade will take over Schenck’s Contemporary Dance Workshop I, Contemporary Dance Workshop II and Dance Production classes in addition to teaching her own. Schenck is expected to return on Jan. 30., after he is fully recovered from his back surgery.
“I feel like our dance program is running so well and is so strong that I feel completely confident about stepping away for a little while, just because I see that everyone in the program is so motivated and committed. I know things will be fine for a while, and I am really excited to come back and join everyone,” Schenck said.
Even though Schenck is recovering from his procedure at home, he plans to remain available to watch videos of choreography and offer feedback to dancers via email. Schade, his coworker and friend, has said that she is happy to take over for Schenck but will also miss him during his leave.
“I am glad to take over because he is my dear friend and I look up to him. He is a great leader and I feel very proud that I can take his shoes and work with all of his students and get to know them more. I am very excited,” Schade said.
Students have said that they are excited to welcome Schenck back once he has recovered fully.
“I have been in the dance program for three years with Mr. Schenck and for the past couple of months it has been hard to see him in pain. I’m glad that he is finally going to get the surgery to make him feel better so that he can get back on his feet and dance with us again.” Sophia Schwartz ’20 said.