I recently attended the Detroit Dance Artists Showcase through the Black & Gold Loyalty Society. A small panel of OU dance students, a faculty member and a choreographer (an OU alum) took questions from the audience following the performance. One question raised was “What do our OU dancers need most for their program?” Their answer left me with an urgent need to take action.
The panelists explained that they most need a better surface on which to perform, as the hard surfaces in Varner or otherwise, leaves students open to injury. They stated that hard floors can take such a toll on their bodies that their careers are often cut short.
If you are familiar with dance and dancers, you’ll know that they are often referred to as “athletes”. The comparison stems from the fact that dancers train like athletes. Dancers take one to two technique classes every day in addition to rehearsing and preparing for concerts. In other words, our dance students spend 6-8 hours a day, seven days a week, developing their craft on inadequate surfaces.
Fortunately, there are some solutions we could provide to greatly improve these conditions. I personally inquired with the MTD dance faculty to find out what could be done. They provided me with details on a portable, sprung dance floor, which would be used when performing in OU’s theatres and other locations that have flooring inappropriate for dance.
The total needed to secure this vital instrument to our dancers is approximately $30,000. My wife, Andie, and I have committed $5,000 to this project because we believe that it is that important and our students deserve it. We are looking for donors to join us in making this a reality.
Robby Stewart, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
OU dance students spend 6-8 hours a day, seven days a week, developing their craft. The Recital Hall, Studio Theatre and Lab Theatre all have extremely hard, non-sprung surfaces that cause great impact as well as the potential for short- and long-term injury.
A portable, sprung dance floor, which would be used when performing in OU’s theatres and other locations that have flooring inappropriate for dance. Such a floor would benefit dancers not only as they practice and preform on campus, but also as they take their OU spirit on the road to performances and showcases.
The total needed to secure this vital equipment is approximately $30,000. This investment will allow OU dancers to practice and perform at the highest level.