On Oct. 17, sophomores Caitlin Evans and Laura Cimolino set up a petition table between Terrell and Elkinton halls in hopes of completing the signature requirement for a petition to create a dance minor at Linfield, an effort that began last spring.
“It’s a work in progress, almost half a year now,” said Evans, one of the campaigners for a dance minor.
The minimum requirement of signatures is 200, and Evans and Cimolino ended the day successfully with 202 signatures.
“We wanted to start the petition at the end of last year, but by the time we decided to do it, it was right before finals week, and [we] knew everybody was too busy to be thinking about anything but their classes, so we decided to postpone it until this year,” Cimolino said.
“We’re making great progress,” Evans said. “A lot of the dancers here are stepping forward and expressing their support.”
Professors have shown interest as well. Evans has been collaborating with Faun Tiedge, department chair and professor of Music.
“The dance minor is part of a short-term strategic plan that could become a reality if we work together to make it happen,” Tiedge said in an email. “Music and dance are closely aligned as art forms and connect in so many ways in our curriculum.”
The dance minor would bring a variety of dance classes and instructors to Linfield.
“I noticed that there is a very limited amount of classes,” Evans said.
“I would like to see more dance classes for Linfield students to include traditional dance, world dance, and popular styles from around the globe,” Tiedge said. “I strongly believe that bringing music and dance students together in the music center will allow for more creative growth and learning experiences.”
Those in support of the minor are also looking to create more dance spaces on campus, as the only dance space currently available is in the Health, Human Performance and Athletics building and is shared with other classes.
“It’s so different than the stage, and that’s all the room we have for everything,” Evans said.
“Dance classes are offered through the Department of Music. However, the dance classes that we offer in our program are not in the Bull Music Center,” Tiedge said. “They do not have a space that really belongs to their art.”
Currently, Tiedge and students are working toward transforming one of the music center’s rehearsal halls into a space for dancers.
“It features space, light, a sound system and more,” Tiedge said. “However, we need to budget for a dance floor so that we can also offer a space that is healthy for dancer’s bodies.”
“That extra room will give us flexibility,” Evans said.
There are still steps that need to be taken before these changes can start taking place, but the process has been moving quickly with the positive feedback the movement has received thus far.
“We’re receiving so much support,” Evans said, “I feel so fortunate that Linfield has been supporting us.”
“Their passion to bring more dance to Linfield with the hope of establishing a dance minor will be a lasting legacy for the future of music and dance students in our college,” Tiedge said.