Designed for Action: York College Sophomore Brings Love of Performing to the Classroom
At York College, students aren’t just reading textbooks and listening to lectures. They’re working on community projects, solving real-world problems, and using their education to effect change. In Designed for Action, we meet the students who are making an impact outside of the classroom.
Pastelle Pergament ’25 has been involved with the Greater York Dance community since she was a child.
“My first stage debut was when I was 6 months old,” she says. “I was carried on as a party scene guest in the Nutcracker Ballet at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts.”
Now, as a sophomore Recreation Leadership major, Pastelle spends much of her time helping out and teaching classes at Greater York Dance, a nonprofit organization, while also balancing her coursework as a busy college student.
“There have been a few times when I have had to schedule a substitute for my work at the dance center in order to meet my college obligations. My YCP education is my biggest priority,” she says.
A family tradition
Pastelle was born into a dance and performing arts family. Her mother is the Artistic Director for Greater York Dance, while her grandmother founded the center in 1971. She’s been studying dance herself since she was 2 years old. When she entered high school, she started working at the center part-time.
“I run rehearsals, teach students ballet and pointe, and assist at the front desk and wherever needed. I also continue to perform in productions,” she says.
Her favorite thing about helping out and teaching at the center is getting to express herself through her art, and helping others do the same.
“I get to express myself!” she adds. “I get to explore a lot of music and help my students to see the best in themselves.”
Getting involved with the community
When it came time for Pastelle to choose a college, York was the perfect choice.
“I grew up across the street from York College. I absolutely found my home here at YCP,” she states. “The quality of the programs here continues to amaze me along with the special attention given by everyone.”
Pastelle believes her education at YCP has helped strengthen her confidence and community skills.
“I loved my theatre classes and learned a lot. My confidence has grown astronomically,” she says.
Additionally, as a Recreation Leadership major, her coursework helps her learn more about the local community by understanding its needs and learn more about her hometown. It also helps her be a better teacher for her dance students.
“I will get to do internships in new areas,” she explains. “The more connections I have, the more opportunities for my students. At Greater York Dance, we focus on talent development, and helping each student find their path.”
Pastelle’s love for performing arts has followed her to campus. She’s involved with the Improv Club, Chorale and Chamber Singers, and theatrical productions.
Off-campus, you can currently find her at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, performing in and helping out as a production assistant with the Nutcracker Ballet set for December 10, 2022, and The Hip Nut set for December 11.
Pastelle is unsure of what she wants to do for a career, but she knows that she definitely wants to continue performing and maintain her involvement with the local community.
“I hope to continue furthering the position of Greater York Dance in our community,” she adds. “No matter what, I plan to keep on dancing and sharing my love of dance, whether it be running the center or working somewhere else and continuing to share the arts.”