Dance classes relocated for school’s renovations

Renovations on the dance building forced changes on students of the School for Classical and Contemporary Dance.

Classes and offices have been relocated to a temporary dance studio in the GrandMarc, multipurpose rooms in the university rec center and an office suite in the Rickel building.

Freshman ballet major James Vargas said the main difference he experienced was a rush to move from classes in the GrandMarc to classes in the rec center.

“In the old building we had a little more time to have a break before we get to the next class,” he said.

Associate professor of ballet Elizabeth Gillaspy, associate professor of ballet, said students and faculty of the program had to adjust to different accessibility as well.

“We’re used to being able to use our spaces all day every day nights and weekends so we’ve had to work with the schedules of the buildings we’re using,” she said.

Kaitlin Herndon, a freshman ballet major, said the temporary facilities took away the sense of community she felt in the old building.

“I don’t really see as many people as I used to, I’m glad we had that [the old] building first semester to bond,” she said.

However, dancers said the temporary facilities provided exposure for the program.

Ellen Vierse, a junior modern dance major, said the different spaces helped her feel more included on campus.

“It reminds us that there’s more to the campus and it reminds the campus that they have a dance program,” she said.

Similarly, Gillaspy said being situated in the middle of the Rec Center offered increased visibility.

When renovations are complete, the renamed and renovated Lowe Hall will feature an elevator, improved and enlarged dance studios, additional restrooms and handicap accessibility to all areas.

Lowe Hall was originally built in 1921 as a gym but adapted for the ballet department in 1973. It was also renamed in September in honor of TCU Trustee, Erma Lowe. This is the first renovation since the change.

Construction should be completed in August. Because of construction, summer 2011 events scheduled in the building were cancelled and some events will take place in alternate venues.