The dance department welcomed a new dance studio Wednesday with an invite-only ribbon cutting ceremony.
“I couldn’t be happier (about the new studio),” department Chair Todd Roehrman said. “It’s a wonderful celebration of a space that’s long overdue, it’s not only a studio for dance classes, but it’s going to be a rehearsal space for plays and musicals.”
During the ceremony, students presented both personally choreographed and instructor-inspired routines. Meagan Wells and Adrienne Ulang opened the ceremony with an emotionally charged piece titled “A.W.A.O.O.H (the healing ritual)” which highlighted the issues surrounding the water crisis in Flint Michigan.
The last routine preformed for the room sprinkled with donors, faculty and some dance students was titled “Message Sent” and gave a provocative and interpretive look into the use of technology and the disconnect among people that technology has created.
The event was held in the new studio, which is located on the first floor of the Creative Arts Building. The event was led by Roehrman.
The ceremony also highlighted Susan Whipp, a faculty emerita of dance from SF State who has set up the scholarship fund Susan Whipp Dance Legacy Scholarship that initially started off as a $1,000 award to one student per year in the dance department.
“It’s for a top-notch student who’s strong academically and strong creatively,” Whipp said. “Someone with a really great portfolio to present, and it’s for seniors. I want someone who has made a commitment to the University to finish and to finish in dance.”
The new studio was given to the students after the department moved from the Fine Arts Building and students spent multiple semesters working and practicing in the gymnasium. The new studio is currently open for instruction and, according to Roehrman, is 95 percent done, still missing a few renovations before it can be considered fully functional.
“It’s 95 percent done,” Roehrman said. “The last thing we are waiting on is a riser system for the seats. They will be retractable and will give more space. That was a component that took a little bit longer, that will be installed over spring break.”