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Movements of the body, movements of the Earth


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jen Taylor hadn't taken any dance classes before coming to college. After graduation this spring, she will leave with several years' experience not only dancing but teaching dance from cultures around the world. Similarly, she had never studied fault zones or Earth science in depth, but four years at Penn State gave her the opportunity not only to study geosciences but also complete multiple research projects.

Transformative dance

In high school, Taylor gravitated toward theater. She entered college knowing she wanted to get involved in some type of dance.

"I found the International Dance Ensemble, and it was really something different," she said. "I got to meet so many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds, and learn so much."

Taylor began learning the array of choreographies that the troupe performs, which include Indian, Chinese, Tahitian, African, Latin, modern, tap and more. The group, which formed in 1977, has benefited from the fact that students from around the world have joined over the years, adding their own culture's traditional dances to the ensemble's repertoire.   More

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