The addition of a ?no shoes? policy in the only formal dance space on campus has left many UR dance groups without a proper place to practice.
Because of this floor in the newly renovated Spurrier Dance Studio, dance forms such as ballet, tap, jazz and street cannot be practiced there because they require distinct foot coverings.
Ballet Performance Group, Radiance Dance Theatre and D-Motions now have limited space in which to prepare their semester performances.
?Every week, BPG fought for practice space in the Multi-Purpose Room in the new Goergen facility, sometimes sharing it with other on-campus organizations at a time,? said junior Brooke Shuster, former co-president of the BPG.
?It was hard to retain any group unity while dancing, as we were trying to hear our music over other groups? activities.?
The Multi-Purpose Room is not made for dancing because the floor is too hard and slippery and there are no mirrors in the room, which prevents the correction of technical and choreographic errors, Shuster said.
Senior Kristy Deduck of the Radiance Dance Theatre has also noticed the change. She misses the consistency of their rehearsal space and the clean floors that they used to have.
She said that interruption is a constant problem and that they even had to call UR Security once to enforce the fact that their space was reserved. She feels that a multipurpose room is not appropriate for dancers who wear jazz shoes or go barefoot.
Deduck said that Judith Hook, head of the dance department, has given the dance groups many suggestions for new space, such as the multipurpose room, the aerobics studio, the Robert B. Georgen Athletic Center or the May Room.
?Her solutions just haven?t been satisfactory,? Deduck said.
Hook declined to comment over phone or e-mail for this article.
?The reason this issue has cropped up is because we do not have a performance art center on campus and that is what we desperately need,? said Brenda Myrthil, assistant director of student activities and adviser for Radiance Dance Theatre. ?As a liberal arts school, we cannot provide an education without co-curricular activities.?
The Office of Student Activities does not want to let some extracurricular dance groups use the dance studio and deny the space to others. Because of the restrictions on the type of dance that can take place there and the fact that the dance program is trying to expand, the studio has been classified for academic use, Myrthil said.
This means that only dance classes ? not student groups ? and classes that do not use special shoes may use the studio.
Senior Megan Toufexis, president of the BPG, said she is extremely upset about not being able to use the studio.
?We need to use the dance studio which is a space ideal for dancers. But the space is an academic space and is not allowed for dancers who may abuse the floor,? she said. ?Also, the dance department offers no ballet classes and has ripped the ballet barres and mirrors out of the dance studio, essentially eliminating any sort of space or classes for the most fundamental training in dance ? ballet.?
?We?re trying to find the perfect dance space, but the fact of the matter is that on this campus the perfect space does not exist,? Myrthil said.