E. Laura Hausmann started dancing at age eight in her teacher’s kitchen in Boston.
“Every Saturday morning my teacher was teaching four little girls, including me, in his kitchen, and we would hang on to his linoleum kitchen table to do bar work,” Hausmann said.
Today, Hausmann gives dance lessons to students and community members in Bethlehem to bond through fitness.
Classes, which are offered every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Taylor Gym, attract people of all ages and abilities, even those who have never danced before.
Hausmann began teaching at Lehigh when the dance studio was built in 1995. She teaches four classes – Beginning Ballet, Beginning Jazz Dance, Ballet II and Jazz Dance Open Level. Students benefit from a discount and pay $ 88 per session.
The dance classes have caught the attention of students, as Hausmann said more than 70 percent of the participants are Lehigh students.
She understands that each student learns differently and is not afraid to correct her students’ mistakes through one-on-one interactions. She said she has to meet a wide range of abilities, as the skill levels of the participants range from beginner to advanced, so that every student can dance with confidence.
Hausmann said dancing is such a rewarding experience because of the connections it can make.
“I love that there are students in these dance classes from all the majors and from seven countries who would never have a connection without these classes,” Hausmann said. “It’s an opportunity to create a community bond and a bond between people who otherwise would never know each other. “
Shiran Wang, 14, who started dancing while graduating at Lehigh, now works in Bedminster, New Jersey at a software company and comes to Lehigh every Tuesday to dance.
Wang was able to maintain his connection to the campus thanks to Hausmann’s classes. She uses dance as an outlet from her busy work days.
“Dancing is a relief from all the pressure and frustration,” Wang said. “It gives your mind a break from all the work. “
Wang loves that Hausmann greets everyone who enters the dance studio.
“It’s open to everyone,” Wang said. “A lot of dance teachers aren’t as open to adults as she is. “
Talia Vinson, a high school student in Saucon Valley, is also enrolled in the fall semester with her sister, Gaby Vinson, ’19, a fifth year.
Talia said Hausmann adapts to the learning style and skill level of each student, and that she enjoys the welcoming atmosphere of classes.
“The classes allow people of all backgrounds to come and practice,” said Talia. “They are acceptable to people of all abilities. “