Amber Steele brings an enthusiastic twist to contemporary modern dance


Kathia Noriega

Amber Steele teaches a contemporary modern dance class at Skyline on April 12.

Amber Steele brings an inviting environment to contemporary modern dance classes at Skyline.

Professor Amber Steele teaches dance classes at Skyline that range from a variety of different styles of dance. She teaches a combination of ballet to contemporary modern dance, cardio dance to hip-hop and has even taught jazz in the past as well.

Steele brings a mixture of different talents to Skyline that pulls in more students to want to join a class they are interested in because of all the options that are available. She expresses her passion for her work and the kind of job she is grateful to have after teaching for 22 years.

“The fact that you can come to community college and do your art, your passion, your dance, and realize there is this whole depth of variety and study and knowledge that is accessible to you here,” Steele said. “…whether you didn’t get to take dance classes when you were young, that’s what I love about community college.”

Her contemporary modern dance class is struck with a wide scale of skill sets. There are students who have only taken a dance class once before, to students who have been dancing for a majority of their lives. Steele’s class allows for this overlap to happen because she believes that she is capable of teaching students from all levels and bringing a common ground to all possibilities.

Skyline student Mike Stenson has only participated in one dance class before, and he decided to join Steele’s class because he thought it would be a good idea to jump back into a hobby he wants to continue pursuing. After discovering a contemporary modern dance class at Skyline he thought it would be a perfect opportunity for him because of the flexibility in the class.

“I wanted to experiment with my body and I heard contemporary [dance] is really free and open,” Stenson said. “Wanted to do something physical, like an activity class to change up from the normal in-class studying kinda thing… I heard Amber is the head of the dance department so I felt like she’d be a good person to learn from.”

Talia Rosen has a more colorful experience with dance considering she was in ballet since she was three years old until she graduated high school. She accepted the fact that she wasn’t going to continue during college until she discovered dance classes at Skyline and found Steele as the perfect person to guide her through her passion.

“I’ve always really enjoyed dancing,” Rosen said. “I’ve found it as an outlet sort of, to relax and unwind and get your mind off other things.”

Rosen saw how many different types of dance classes were offered, some that she wasn’t familiar with, and was intrigued so she decided to join multiple classes that Steele teaches.

“I’ve taken a few of her classes now along with yoga,” Rosen said. “I’ve taken jazz with her and modern [dance] and I wasn’t really as open to that before taking her classes but definitely after I have. I’ve enjoyed them a lot.”

Steele takes a lot of pride in her career. She likes making her classes very fun and energetic to keep the students interested because of the different skill levels. Stenson believes that she brings in a lot of great energy to tie into her “liberating” class as he describes it.

“It’s been really fun, it’s been a lot of fun,” Stenson said. “Amber is super out-there, she jokes around, she’s super eclectic. It’s been better than I could’ve expected.”

Her contemporary modern class is having a performance in May, along with other performances that they contribute to with the spring musicals that are here at Skyline. Steele has done a great job at finding events for the students to share their talents throughout the year.

“It makes me feel so proud to see these students really blossom,” Steele said. “Come in wherever they’re at and learn that they can do more than they expected and that they can share that joy with others.”

After experiencing Steele’s teaching style, it is clear that she is a more energetic and passionate teacher that wants to teach students of all levels that they can learn and improve in one semester.