Arts and Entertainment

Nilhav adds a twist to Prozdor

By Shayna Sage and Michelle Mandeau
Published: April 2009

When you hear your friends talking about Prozdor, we bet the words dancing, leaping, and twirling do not come to mind. Learning, interesting, and enriching typically come up instead.

The first three words we mentioned actually describe a class we take called Nilhav. Nilhav is a class that is unlike any other we take at Prozdor, combining dance, Jewish heritage, performance skills, and commitment to a group. Over the past three years, we have learned so much from this class and hope to carry the new knowledge with us when we leave next year.

In our opinion, the best part of Nilhav is the welcoming and friendly atmosphere. The minute we walk through the doors, our teachers, Abby Wolf and Aaron Beckman, always welcome us warmly.
Our friends, who we have grown closer to for the past three years, are also a huge component. They come from all over Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire. The time we spend at Nilhav is important because we get to be with the friends that we only see once a week as well as practice for upcoming performances. The dances incorporate traditional Israeli Folk dancing with modern dancing such as step, ballet, and a little bit of jazz.

Our dances this year included the songs “Hilula by Sheva and “Mah Od Nevakesh by Gaya. The performance is about ten minutes and took us approximately five months to learn. The learning process was a fun experience because we not only learned the choreography, but also learned the importance of keeping a good attendance record.

On occasion we have extended practice to go over the steps and bond with the team. Sometimes, the teachers bring candy to share during lunch breaks when we talk about upcoming events and the progress of the team.

All of this prepping and practicing leads up to two performances: one in Boston at MIT, and the other at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in New York City. Nilhav has been performing at these two venues for ten years.

The New York event is always highly anticipated because we become even closer with our peers, meet new people, and learn from them. This year in New York we met a group, “Turkish Delight, who came all the way from Turkey for the event. It was shocking to know that there are people around the world who are the age that we are and do the exact same thing that we do, but from a different culture.
Another advantage to the events of the year is the experience of being dancers. With teamwork and cooperation, we have truly reaped the benefits of taking Nilhav at Prozdor.

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