The Department of Theatre and Dance, along with the College of Visual and Performing Arts, hosted a dedication for Creative Movement Studio, the new dance studio, 6 p.m. Saturday.
The space is located at the corner of Akron Avenue and Glenna Goodacre Boulevard, across the street from Gordon Residence Hall.
Alumni, Lubbock residents, dance students and College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty and staff were in attendance, said Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, head of dance.
“(The purpose was) to celebrate a new dedicated space for dance and to celebrate the development and growth of the program by recognizing our alumni,” she said.
The event started with a cocktail hour where alumni mingled with faculty and staff of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and was followed by speeches by Mark Charney, the Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance; Carol Edwards, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts; Valerie Komkov Hill, alumna of the dance program; and Suzanne Aker, founder of the dance program at Tech and founder of Ballet Lubbock.
Hill said a scholarship for the dance program would be awarded in Aker’s name as the Suzanne Aker Endowed Scholarship in Dance.
“If you look at dance in Lubbock, she would be the cornerstone of that,” Edwards said. “She’s just had such a big impact on the whole discipline of dance in the Lubbock area.”
The speeches were followed by seven dances performed by dance students and one dance performed by Flatlands Dance Theatre.
Flatlands Dance Theatre is a nonprofit dance company, said Abby Gunn, a senior education and dance major from Plano.
The dances performed displayed a variety of dance styles, such as ballet, jazz and modern, DeCesaro said.
The dancers had worked on these dances since the fall, Ali Duffy, assistant professor of dance, said.
“The performances were wonderful,” Andrea Bilkey, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance said. “It was nice to see them in a space where they can put on a professional show.”
Creative Movement Studio opened in the fall after approximately 10 months of construction, Edwards said.
While the building was under construction, the dance students trained in a temporary space, she said, because the studio they had previously used was where the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Hall now stands.
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad it’s here,” Hill said. “I think the dance program has sort of struggled along for years and been slightly neglected, so it’s wonderful to see that, along with the rest of the university, (the dance program is) finally getting an upgrade.”
The studio contains faculty offices, Charney said. It also contains studios used for classes, dressing rooms and places to have lunch.
“I love it,” Gunn said. “I think it’s great because we have a space that’s just for dance, so we don’t have to share it with theatre or music or anybody else, and it’s a large space, so we can still hold a good-sized audience.”
Charney said he would like for the program to offer a graduate degree, look into hosting a national dance festival and be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.
“This will provide the opportunity to increase enrollment in the dance program,” Edwards said, “and a long way down the road, maybe five years, look at creating a (Master of Fine Arts) degree in dance.”
DeCesaro said her goals are for the program to continue to grow and develop.
“I hope the dance program will always continue to be on the cutting edge of the arts,” Hill said, “and that it will be an integral part of the university, and also an integral part of American culture.”