By Elizabeth Fitzpatrick
You’ve likely seen a talented group of dancers, earning both P.E. and art credit, working hard in the LOC dance studio this year. This group is the Winsor Dance Team (WDT), an audition-based company of Upper School students with experience in any style of dance and a desire to perform.
Ms. McKinley, the founder of the Winsor Dance Program, noted that “a big part of having a dance program is enlivening [the] community with performances and that [she] is very excited for the variety of experiential performance opportunities lined up for WDT, including UTL, the Holiday Concert, and the Dance Concert.” Dance student Julia Reynolds ‘25 considers “having a solid dance team [to be] essential in establishing [dance’s] role in the Performing Arts Department… and allows dancers to be able to genuinely apply their talent to the fullest [in] a meaningful group with official performances.”
Ms. McKinley asked herself, “How do [students] get [confidence]?” She believes that “dance helps with being articulate, being confident, expressing [one]self, and being connected to how [one] feel[s].” Although she understands that, “students don’t necessarily have it all figured out, [she] likes that they’re willing to do it and learn from it. They’ve got a great attitude about it.” Additionally, Ms. McKinley relishes in “how [dance] feels,” how it gives her “power,” and how she “can’t stop moving.” As for teaching, Ms. McKinley loves “infecting other people with that energy and seeing what they can do.” She allows them to “come out of their shells, so to speak [and] to try and do something with a group of other people that they may not get to in a structured environment.” Most importantly, she “loves seeing the joy and connections that people create.”