Arts

Drawing from Wide-Ranging Experience, Jacob Kaiser ’24 Wields Versatility to Merge Dance Styles

COURTESY OF M. DOUCETTE

Inspired by his older brother watching and dancing with the characters in “The Little Einsteins,” Jacob Kaiser ’24 began his dance career at the age of two. Mainly focusing on jazz and ballet, Kaiser has experimented in many genres of dance, such as hip hop and contemporary/modern dance. Kaiser brings his experience, passion, and dynamic talents to Andover, and views dance as an outlet while on campus.

“I think for me, dance mostly served as a great form of expression. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to use dance as an outlet, whether that be just emotionally or physically,” said Kaiser

Kaiser is currently part of the Andover Dance Group (A.D.G.) at Andover and has participated in many dance conventions and competitions. According to Kaiser, one of his favorite parts about Andover’s dance community is the support amongst all the dancers, as well as their ability to pick up new choreography quickly. 

“There would either be these spontaneous gatherings where people would just be freestyling and improvising. And I just remember being surrounded in a room with a bunch of people and expressing themselves and letting everything out and supporting each other but also getting to be exposed to a bunch of cool ideas, different styles,” said Kaiser. 

One of Kaiser’s friends, and fellow A.D.G. member, Alexandra Koch-Liu ’22, admires how Kaiser’s unique experiences and dancing abilities contribute to his performances.

 “I think [Jacob’s] versatility adds to the quality of his dancing because each dance style has different qualities that are expected. That gives him a wide range of steps, but also soft, sharp, big, and small movements, with their own little flair to it, so to say. That’s why his dancing is very unique because he has a wide range of steps and qualities to perform from,” said Koch-Liu.

With experience spanning more than a decade, Kaiser has learned numerous styles of dance that vary from ballet to hip-hop to tap. The morphing of these styles, he believes, is what defines his dance and how he approaches it. 

“Getting to study and train in all styles of [dance] has definitely all morphed into one. Obviously, there are some things that are left out—if you’re thinking about tap, you’re not gonna wear your tap shoes, but the aspects of rhythm used in tap, and syncopation—those definitely carry on and can be found in my movement in general,” said Kaiser. 

Kaiser also believes that the versatility in his dance style enables the complexity of his physical movements. Employing more expansive, wide motions, he is able to further utilize dance as a mode of self-expression. 

“I really enjoy the concept of constant motion and fluidity, and being able to find a nice, cohesive path that can act like a bunch of moves together. Whether that comes from the long curve, controlled movements in ballet, or even something like hip-hop, where they’re obviously the wave, stuff like that… I always find myself using those very long, controlled movements,” said Kaiser. 

While he has only been dancing at Andover for a couple months, as he is a new Lower, Kaiser hopes to further develop his choreographic talents over the rest of his time here. Additionally, he hopes to imbue the diversity of styles from the current dance faculty in order to develop his versatility as a dancer. 

“A significant way that I’ve grown since coming to Andover is being exposed to new styles. Getting to learn from those faculty is something new and has really impacted me… I also think that going forward, I’m also going to look for opportunities in choreography and composition and try to be able to develop that skill as well,” said Kaiser.