Florida Southern College celebrated the grand opening of the Wynee Warden Dance Studio with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 6 followed by the dedication performance by the Florida Dance Theatre.

Students and classes will now be moving into the new facility.

“I’m thrilled launch this new era and wonderful artistic expression for our students and theater programs,” President Anne Kerr 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.

“I have said for many years that we have one of the best music departments in the nation and certainly one of the best theater departments and now with the edition of dance, we will have one of the best musical theater and ballet programs so we have an ambitious agenda head of us we look forward to it,” Kerr said.

[pullquote]It gives me great pleasure to see this building opening for students.[/pullquote]

The sisters of Gamma Phi Beta were there in support of Wynee Warden who is a sister.

The Wynee Warden Dance Studio is the tenth building to be added to the Florida Southern campus since 2007, according to Florida Southern website. The new facility was a gift from Orlando philanthropist Wynee Warden and the Bert W. Martin Foundation.

Warden was a devoted student of classical ballet in her youth. The building’s striking rotunda features a new Steinway grand piano made possible because of the donation from the Glenn W. and Hazelle Paxon Morrison Foundation, the Votum Foundation, and the Nona J. Rawls and H. Taylor Jones Foundation.

Warden joked that she used to be a dancer and delivered her excitement for the new space on campus.

“It gives me great pleasure to see this building opening for students,” Warden said. “I’m just really happy to be here.”

Ballet Stars Katia Garza and Israel Rodriguez also performed during the evening. The Florida Dance Theatre performed “An Evening of Classical Ballet” in Branscomb Auditorium, featuring international ballet who were principal dancers for many years for the Orlando Ballet and for the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico.