Published: Sept. 24, 2015

CU-Boulder sophomore Harper Brown here, reporting for duty! Have you ever taken a class African dance
that changed your view on life? If you are reading this and you are taking/plan to take classes at the University of Colorado Boulder at any point, there are three classes that I enjoyed so much, I think they should be mandatory for every student to experience.

The first class is Contemporary Media Analysis, which I took my first semester freshman year with grad student Megan Hurson. I remember this class a year later because I actually looked forward to doing homework for this class. We discussed modern topics in the media, and were taught how to be smart users of media (instead of mindless consumers), which I think is critical for users in a world of technology to understand. We covered topics from memes to 50 Shades of Grey and fanfiction. Megan was a dynamic teacher who kept our attention the whole class period, and, since our media world is constantly changing, I would definitely take this class again.

My second favorite class my freshman year was Dance & Culture with Marissa Tafura. Taken originally as a core class for my Dance minor, I thought this class would be a lot of dance theory. Though the class included some aspects of theory, it was mostly based on learning different cultural dances. It included real dance lessons from many guest speakers! We got to experience a Mexican tribe from the Colorado area perform their personal celebration dance with us. I was changed tremendously with the amount of culture I learned from all over the globe. I will also never forget watching my male and female classmates attempt ballet dance steps across the small carpet space in our dorm lobby . . . though not all of Marissa Tafura’s classes are taken in the small Buckingham or Libby RAP program classes. Marissa is an outstanding professor with a lot of background knowledge of culture and dance and the ways cultures shape dance and dance shapes people. I would also take this class again if I could be promised an experience as amazing as last year (unlikely!). African dance

This last one is the absolute best class you will ever take at CU-Boulder. Yes, sorry for those of you who don’t like to dance, this is also a dance class (but what else can you expect from a person who loves dance?). Two words. African. Dance. This class, though it can be difficult to get into because the spaces fill up quickly – is completely worth the extra $100 fee. You will learn much more than Ghanian dance in this class. You will learn how to live and enjoy a community. You will learn African dances and have the time of your life performing them, and enjoying a huge dance and African food celebration for the class “final”. CAUTION: Your life will be changed by this class!

Tip to the wise: take this class even if you can’t dance at all. You will be able to do these steps, and you will grow as a person.

If you can’t take African Dance with your schedule, at least attend one of the final celebrations! They are open to the public and guests are welcome. There is free food and fun dancing!

I’m glad I had the chance to experience these three classes at CU-Boulder my very first year. I hope you can also find classes that inspire and change you as a person.



Harper Brown