Students in the WTAMU dance department had the opportunity to spend a few extra hours outside of class with a former dance student. Daniel Galaska graduated from WT in 2004 and returned this semester to teach a few extra classes in contemporary dance.
Galaska recently taught in Poland for two-and-a-half years. “Coming back to teach has been great,” said Galaska. “It gives the students a chance to work with someone else. It also gives them a piece of the professional world.”
Galaska started his career in dance at WT in 1999. He began as a theatre major, but fell in love with dance.
“While attending WT, I had the opportunity to be instilled with a great work ethic. The instructors here really taught me respect for the studio, other dancers and most of all dance,” he said.Galaska is originally from Georgia. He received his bachelors degree from WT and earned his Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. It was there that he learned about a program in Poland. A year before he finished his masters, he applied and was accepted.
“Living in Poland taught me so much,” Galaska said. “I learned a lot about the culture and got to work with wonderful dancers.”
A typical day for Galaska is filled with about nine hours of practice, so teaching isn’t much different.
“I taught six days a week while in Poland. I would practice Monday through Friday from eight to ten hours a day and spend two hours teaching,” he said.
Galaska said that one of his favorite things about teaching is “seeing a student get that ‘a-ha’ moment.” Galaska didn’t start as a dancer at a young age. His first year of dance was not the best.
“But sometime after that first year, something just clicked,” he said.