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Schoonover steps away from her desk

MIT staff member tours country as highland dancer
Jen Schoonover strikes a pose in her Scottish clothes.
Jen Schoonover strikes a pose in her Scottish clothes.

Jen Schoonover, an editorial assistant in the Reference Publications Office, was away from her MIT duties in December, dancing in "A Scottish Christmas," which toured the United States. Schoonover, one of two Scottish Highland dancers in the show, has performed this tour for the past five years with fiddler Bonnie Rideout.

"We do traditional highland dancing as well as some Cape Breton style step-dancing done in hard shoes, a percussive dance style," she said. This year's tour started in the Northeast; the final show was at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Schoonover says she also "dances around town" with a group called Highland Dance Boston, teaches modern dance at Cape Cod Community College, and performs with the Peanut Butter and Jelly Dance Company ("mostly in elementary school shows").

She will dance with Malinda Allen of the Moving Laboratory in World Music's "Dance Straight Up" this weekend. The program of commissioned new works takes place on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. at Boston University's Tsai Performance Center at 685 Commonwealth Ave. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (617) 876-4275 or see

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2004.

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