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What’s Up at EC: Emmanuel College Dancers See No Hope For Future Space

Being a dancer at Emmanuel is not as easy as many may think.

“We rehearse in here two hours a week, but we normally get kicked out by study groups,” a junior student revealed to me during her dance practice in St. Joe’s basement.

She’s a student choreographer for the COF Dance Project, and says she has no choice but to meet in the cramped common area. Since the renovation of the Administration Building, dance space has been hard to come by.

“My freshman year, we had the Emmanuel dance studio, and two at Simmons,” she said, packing up her shoes, clothes, and portable sound equipment. “Now, Simmons lost one of their studios and we all fight over the three hours a week EC students are given for their main studio. Scheduling’s a nightmare.”

Student choreographers aren’t the only ones struggling, either.

A fellow classmate on the¬†EC Dance Team¬†expressed frustration over their lack of practice space. She said that during their competition season, they have to leave campus for excessive amounts of time to practice, and get no recognition for the compromises they have made. Even worse, they’ve been told outright that no plans have been made to create a space for the team, which has won multiple awards and gained a copious amount of recognition for the school in the past years.

What’s worse? Both students that I spoke to specifically asked they remain anonymous for fear of backlash for complaining.

This lack of space has affected the entire Colleges of the Fenway. There are three for-credit dance/movement classes for Emmanuel, and multiple free dance classes for the COF Dance Project.

“Lack of space hasn’t affected enrollment, but the program has changed,” this student said. “Last semester, we only had six student-choreographed pieces; we usually have around 14. Many students were disappointed by the lack of space and quit. COF now uses space at Tudbury, a hall at Wentworth, and BodyScapes, a fitness area, but those spaces aren’t conducive to group work: there are no mirrors, dance floors, or sound systems.”

Clearly this is an issue that should be solved. However, numerous inquiries to both Emmanuel and Simmons administration have all received the same reply: at the moment, there is no foreseeable space being built for COF dancers.

“We’re hopeful – really, really, hopeful,” she said. “At the moment, we’re getting by.”

What’s up at EC? Comment below and start the discussion.

Posted by on February 22, 2013. Filed under Around Campus,Opinions & Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to What’s Up at EC: Emmanuel College Dancers See No Hope For Future Space

  1. Jess

    February 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I’m also a student choreographer with the COF Dance Program. Finding a space to tap dance in is ridiculously difficult. Usually, my group meets in Tudbury Hall at Wentworth, but the floors are not well kept and are slippery. Even the stage is difficult to work in. Our shoes are being damaged and we all take a few face-plants. Tonight, I’m having them meet at MCPHS University, but we will have to work on carpets in the basement without shoes. Places such as Emmanuel, MassArt, Wheelock and Simmons are always booked. Our actual class uses Bodyscapes, but they weren’t allowing student choreographers to use the space.

  2. Meredith Kelley

    February 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I love the new renovations in the administration building at emmanuel, but I liked the dance studio we used to have. I wish they would have incorporated the dancers’ needs in the renovations. We are a large population of the school, and it doesn’t seem fair that we were not accommodated.

  3. Rebecca Luongo

    February 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I also appreciate the new renovations in the admin building, but am frustrated and honestly a little disappointed in the school for not only removing the dance studio, but for removing the school’s only (to my knowledge) music classroom on the fourth floor of the admin building and replacing it with offices. I know that a school must adapt and change for the times, but I can’t help but think that the school is sending a message that performance arts aren’t as important as the sciences, which is seen as a more lucrative field.