Dance Studio or Office Space?

By Erik Binter

There is a dance studio in the sports center. Some students have never given this room a second thought; for others, it has become a defining and integral part of their Beloit experience. But now the athletic department has their own plans for the space, and it may soon become unavailable to students.

As the athletic program at Beloit grows, the athletic department finds itself in need of more offices. To fill this need, they plan to “re-purpose” the dance studio, displacing more than 150 students who currently use the room for everything from ballroom dance to martial arts.

The dance studio currently provides meeting and practice locations for the Yoga Club, Martial Arts Club, and Belly Dance Club. It has been used for Zumba exercise classes, Tai Chi classes, Salsa Club meetings, and by many other student groups.  Additionally, many individuals and small groups of students use the space to rehearse for dance performances and shows. Some of these clubs and student groups may be able to find alternate locations; others will simply cease to exist if no alternative location is found.

One program that is being put at particularly serious risk is the ballroom program, which is dependent on having a suitable ballroom floor on which to practice.  There is presently no location on campus, outside of the sports center dance studio, that is available to fill this need.  Unless one is found, it will mean not only that the Ballroom Dance Team—and potentially the Ballroom Dance Club—will be forced to dissolve, but it may also mean that it is no longer feasible for Beloit College to offer a Ballroom Dance course.

Thoughts and concerns about this development should be emailed to Scott Bierman: biermans@beloit.edu, Ann Davies: daviesa@beloit.edu, Bill Flanagan: flanagan@beloit.edu, John Winkelmann: winkelj@beloit.edu, or Jennie Hartzheim: hartzhei@beloit.edu.  For more information, look for “2011 Beloit College Petition for Dance Space” on Facebook or email Erik Binter at bintere@beloit.edu.



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