School of Classical & Contemporary Dance celebrates 60th anniversary

In 1949, the university became the first in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ballet. Now, six decades later, the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance is celebrating its 60th anniversary in style.

Events scheduled later this semester include the senior choreography concert and informal talks with SCCD faculty members.

The first event in the talk series is Conversations on Dance with SCCD assistant professor Nina Martin. The event is scheduled for Friday at noon in the Studio B Theatre in the Ballet and Modern Dance Building and is open to all students and faculty.

Martin said she plans to talk about saying yes to dancing opportunities “until you know to say no,” a lesson she has learned from her years in the dance world.

“I think especially as they get closer and closer to graduation, students get anxious about what the future holds,” Martin said. “I’d like to talk about how we are improvising life. We’re still improvising in college; we just have a very rigid structure we’re working with, and the scary thing is for the structure to go away.”

Martin said the conversation series is beneficial because it gets students out of the classroom and gives them a chance to hear from and talk to artists in the real world.

Ellen Vierse, a sophomore modern dance major, agreed with Martin and said she thought these casual talks, which have taken place before, are both beneficial and fun.

“It’s really a very intimate thing,” Vierse said. “It’s in Studio B, and you sit on the bleachers, and (the speaker is) there with a chair and a microphone.”

Vierse said the speakers would usually share their story or talk about their experiences in the dance world, like Martin plans to. After they finish, the floor is open for questions.

“You can ask them whatever you want and just talk,” she said. “It’s really get a lot of insight in what they’ve chosen to do with dance.”

Other upcoming events include the Chi Tau Epsilon AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert Feb. 12 in the Brown-Lupton University Union and Brown Bag Dance!, an informal lunchtime show on Feb. 19 in the Studio B Theatre. Both events are open to students and faculty.

Upcoming events

Feb. 5- Conversations on Dance with Nina Martin

Feb. 12- XTE AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert

Feb. 12- Brown Bag Dance

March 5- Conversations on Dance with Natalja Sawal

March 26-28- Spring Dance Concert

April 21-24- Senior Capstone Concerts