Published August 12, 2022
Editor's note: Summer Hours is a photo series focusing on UB staff members who use the longer days to pursue interesting hobbies, causes and other endeavors outside of their day jobs.
A Billie Eilish tune fills the room at the Lancaster Dance Center as teenage dancers execute choreography just taught to them earlier in the class. They giggle over their missteps when the music stops.
At the front of the room, instructor Miranda Bosse claps out the counts to keep the dancers in sync. Bosse, whose day job is as assistant director of graduate public health programs at the School of Public Health and Health Professions, studied dance at the same studio from the age of four and has been teaching since 2016.
“They know that I’m going to throw a lot at them. I expect a lot of them,” says Bosse. “I want them to feel that challenge and that motivation in themselves … you can’t be taught that; you have to just feel it for yourself.”
Bosse teaches an intensive, six-week summer program that focuses on technique, strength, stamina and flexibility. As opposed to the regular school year, these dancers are not working toward a recital, but instead have a specific interest in dance and improving their skills.
“These are the students who are really passionate about dance, and for most of them, it’s their release from the regular world,” Bosse explains.
According to Debby Kunttu, director of the Lancaster Dance Center, dancers create their own family through the time spent at the dance studio. They support each other through the challenges of dance and growing up, and “Miss Miranda” is a favorite.
“The kids love her. They just love her,” says Kunttu. “She likes to give them good guidance and a good example of life and how to live your life.”
Kunttu watches some of the class from the doorway, laughing with the students as they try new moves. The studio is celebrating its 43rd year, and Kunttu is clearly proud of the community she has built, including nurturing Bosse from childhood dancer to faculty member.
“We haven’t let her go. And we don’t ever want to let her go,” Kunttu says with a smile.
In the summer, Bosse teaches about three hours a week; during the winter, it’s double that. She spends more time preparing for the classes and developing choreography.
“I love to dance. There’s no secret about that, but my passion is to be behind the scenes choreographing,” Bosse says. “Seeing them perform the choreography that I teach them and having them have that competence is really the most rewarding part for me.”
Bosse began teaching at the studio while she was still an undergraduate student in dance at UB. She now teaches hip hop and jazz. She says the kids have taught her to be adaptable and patient.
“The time that I’m there with those kids is some of the happiest hours of my life,” Bosse says. “I really can’t picture myself having a day or any time in my life without dance because I truly feel like a huge part of me would just be absent.”
Miranda Bosse has worked at the School of Public Health and Health Professions for about a year. She received a BA in dance, psychology and social sciences interdisciplinary in 2018 and an MPH and MSW, also from UB, in 2021.
Editor’s note: UBNow is looking for faculty and staff members who pursue interesting hobbies, causes and other endeavors outside of their day jobs. Contact University Communications photographer Meredith Forrest Kulwicki.