Posting Date: May 7, 2013
Kennesaw State’s Department of Dance expands with new facilities
By Shira Kerce
Kneeling, front row: Leticia Chavez and Hillary Andrews. Standing: Patrice Goodlow, Sandra Parks, Erin Rauch, Zachary Richardson, Andrea Sanchez, Katie Veldhuis, Kristen Archer, Khy Chestnut, Stevan Novakovich, Indya Childs, Emmie Graham, Ivan Pulinkala.
Kennesaw State University’s newly formed Department of Dance has just completed the second phase of an expansion to its Chastain Pointe facilities. The Phase II Grand Opening and Open House was held on Sunday, May 5th and guests were treated to a tour of the new facilities.
The new facilities include a classroom, two dance studios, student lockers and a student lounge area, faculty and staff offices, a costume shop, a scene shop and a storage area for dance equipment.
According to faculty and staff, the new dance studios are equipped with state-of-the-art sprung floors and audio-visual equipment. One of the studios is the largest in the metro-Atlanta area.
The department’s growth over the last few years has led to this current expansion as larger facilities became necessary to accommodate the growing number of dance students. First founded in 2005 as the Program in Dance (within the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies) and with only a dance minor, the program quickly grew to over 140 students. In 2009, a dance major was added, and in 2012, the program became its own department in the College of the Arts.
Ivan Pulinkala, chair of the Department of Dance and founding director, says the expansion has been supported and funded by the University “in response to the program’s exponential growth since its beginning. It is now the largest dance program in Georgia, and it has become a highly-selective, high-demand program, with over 100 majors auditioning every year for approximately 25 available slots.” The KSU Dance Company has also achieved great success with national recognition during the National College Dance Festivals in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
“It is exciting to now have facilities that will support our success and growth and provide a home for the Department,” Pulinkala says. Although Phase II is now complete, planning for Phase III will begin during the 2013-2014 school year. “As resources permit,” Pulinkala explains, “we will continue to expand and complete the building.”
The Department of Dance has much to look forward to in its future, with plans to add a master’s degree program and gain accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance. It also has plans to launch the KSU Dance Festival in spring 2014 and host the American College Dance Festival Regional Conference in 2016.
The new world-class dance facilities will not only make all these new plans possible, but will also have a more immediate effect by providing a central location for all dance classes and rehearsals. Dance students will be able to meet and interact with their fellow dancers much easier now that they will all be in one place, rather than shuttling back and forth from the main campus.
The new costume shop will allow for all costumes to be created in-house, and the storage will allow room for the department to continue to grow its costume inventory. Pulinkala says, “These new facilities will build a bigger and better dance community, and, ultimately, they will lead to a great positive change of culture within the Department of Dance.”
To learn more about the Department of Dance, please visit http://www.kennesaw.edu/dance.