One of the goals of a Brewster education is encouraging students to bring forth their own unique talents, and then give them opportunities to let those talents shine. This goal, however, extends far beyond the classroom. We see it on the fields, in the dorms, and–excitingly–in the new Coviello Dance Studio.
Erin Gallagher ’23 has been dancing ever since she could walk. According to her, “It's something I've always been drawn to because of how fulfilled spiritually I feel as I dance. Dance was an outlet for me through all the ups and downs of my life.”
Erin, hailing from Massachusetts, came to Brewster her freshman year. She quickly found ways to prioritize dance in her Brewster experience, signing up for the afternoon dance offerings and pursuing independent projects. However, a year of COVID protocols and an under-construction dance studio didn’t make dancing as easy as she would’ve liked. Which is why being able to use the Coviello Dance Studio in the Rogers Building is even more exciting for her.
“My favorite part about the studio is the accessibility we have to it in the Rogers building,” Erin said. “I love that I can go during study hall and dance out any stress I feel.”
Zoe Hausler ’24, another passionate dancer, echoed Erin’s sentiments. “The new dance studio has allowed me the flexibility to work on choreography when I want to,” she said. “Or when I just feel like dancing, I am able to access a space that I can go to whenever I want.”
In April, Erin and Zoe Schwartz ‘23, a Brewster day student with a long history of dance, spent a great deal of time in the space in preparation for their performance during Spring Family Weekend. For the Reimagine Rogers Celebration, Erin and Zoe performed in front of an audience filled with students, families, faculty, trustees, and individuals who helped make the Grayson Student Center in the Rogers possible.
“There are a lot of opportunities to perform, whether it’s a Coffee House, or a showcase, or musical theater. You can always be working toward a piece that you’re getting ready to perform,” Zoe Schwartz said. “It’s kind of the perfect release to come to the dance studio and have your own space on campus to practice your art.”
Whenever the Grayson Student Center in Rogers is open, the students have access to the Coviello Dance Studio (that is, unless one of our yoga classes is taking advantage of the space). You can find Erin, Zoe, and other dancers there in the evenings, on weekends, or during the afternoons.
As these dancers show their devotion to dance by taking every chance they have to be in the new studio, faculty on campus encourage and help them in these pursuits.
“The teachers here allow you to focus on the dance styles you are most interested in and push you toward your goals,” Zoe ’24 said when asked about her experience with dance at Brewster. “I’ve really appreciated that.”
One of those teachers, Cailey Mastrangelo, has led the dance offerings in the afternoons for the last two years. She remains committed to being flexible and finding a time to meet based on the students’ schedules, even if they’re in other afternoon commitments.
“Ms. M will always find a time to come work with you if it’s something you want,” Erin said. She’s really appreciated this flexibility, especially since she also plays on two varsity sports teams. “And the studio is always here and available. If I just need to go dance, it’s never limited. It’s a walk away.”
The initiative Erin takes when it comes to dance, independent of others, speaks to her determination and passion. But it’s also not something she wants to keep to herself. She hopes to spread her passion to others––especially now that the Coviello Dance Studio is fully open.
“I want to leave my legacy on Brewster by helping the dance program continue to grow,” Erin said. “For the rest of my two years here, I hope to work with Ms. M and others to develop a more structured program for dancers. I want to help future dancers pursue their passions as I pursued mine.”
The school has already taken initial steps to help make this happen. Brewster’s dance program is continuing to evolve, including the addition of classes into the academic day. Erin has talked in length with Ms. Mastrangelo about the different styles of dance she wants to make available to students of all skill levels.
Erin’s desire to leave a positive impact on the community doesn’t just speak to her growth as a dancer; it speaks to her growth as a person. It also speaks to Brewster’s goal for its students: encouraging students to show up as they are, develop into the best version of themselves, and shine.