The summer groundbreaking for the Wynee Warden Dance Studio was the first step for Florida Southern’s Fine Arts program to begin its expansion with plans for facilities to accommodate new majors being offered in 2014.
On May 9, faculty, students, benefactors and some ballerinas, joined to celebrate the new studio, which was made possible by Mrs. Winifred “Wynee” Warden, a supporter of several other buildings on campus, including the Wynee Warden Tennis Center that opened last year.
According to Provost Dr. Kyle Fedler, a lot of planning went into the establishment of the studio and Fine Arts programs. “A number of things came together, once we decided to go with the musical theater program and the dance major program, we knew we would have to have dance courses, so it just makes logical sense that if you’re going to have some course work, which we already have on the books, the last piece needed was the facilities,” Fedler said.
Beginning and intermediate jazz, along with six other dance classes, have been approved to be offered to students this semester. A full range of dance classes will not be proposed until 2014.
“To be able to attract students we really needed to have a studio. We could have just had courses, but to have a [dance] program, whether it be a major or minor, we needed to have a facility… you can only use the theater space or Wellness space for so long, which is what we plan to do now,” Fedler said.
The studio will house faculty offices and dressing rooms in addition to dance floor space. Promising to remain true to the designs of other buildings on campus, the 4,700 square-foot area will look similar to the Dr. Marcene H. and Robert E. Christoverson Humanities Building.
In the future, Fedler hopes that a major and minor program will be created for students interested in dance and that a full-time faculty member will be hired by the end of this spring, or next fall, to accommodate them.
“I really envision it not just for majors. I really want it to be for people who are just interested in dance,” Fedler said. “I really forsee students who may just be interested in taking a class in modern dance or hip-hop… or athletes to help with their coordination and balance, but I think it would just be fun to take a dance class, maybe for credit or non-credit. I see the facility being used not only for academic programs, but for interest.”
By fall of 2014 the studio should be built and FSC hopes to have a Fine Arts musical theater and dance program established.
Photo courtesy of Florida Southern College