Members of Carolina Dance Initiative and Carolina Dance Project are synchronizing their efforts to bring dance to center stage at UNC.
Two of the groups’ main goals are to unite dancers on campus and work toward establishing a dance minor.
Of the 19 dance groups on campus, 17 were represented at a general interest meeting Monday that served as a miniature FallFest for more than 100 dancers in attendance.
The meeting was full of dancers who support the push for a dance minor, said Lauren Friedmann, a member of CDP, a dance instruction group.
“There is clearly a lot of interest (for a minor),” she said. “We are a strong, diverse community.”
Friedmann will present the case for a minor to the Student Advisory Committee to the chancellor today. The committee will then decide if the case has enough bearing to receive further discussion.
“(The minor) isn’t something there for giggles,” Friedmann said.
Junior Maitlyn Betts, a dancer in Inversions Modern Dance Company, said she would have liked the option to minor during her first year at UNC.
“There are many people on campus that would enjoy having more dance classes on campus and being able to minor in it,” she said.
Dancers interested in the minor curriculum stayed after the interest meeting to discuss what to include, using the dance program at Duke University as a rough outline.
Brittany Posas, co-president of CDI, said the group has been working hard on plans for the minor.
“We want as many different styles and backgrounds as possible,” Posas said.
This past spring, the UNC Ballroom Dance Team became a club sport, and it now receives University funding.
“That’s huge for the dance community,” Posas said.
Both competitive and social dance groups came to the Monday meeting.
“That’s the first time in a long time we’ve had all the dance groups together,” Friedmann said.
For UNC dancers, CDI provides an umbrella for the different dance disciplines and groups on campus.
The group works to provide resources and to unify dance groups.
CDI offers training three times a week for dancers of all levels. Classes are Tuesdays through Thursdays in one of the new dance studios in Woollen Gym.
The organization plans to host a collaborative project with student photographers and dancers this fall to benefit both the photographers’ and dancers’ portfolios.
CDI will also host a dance block party in March where they will have a stage for dance groups, as well as food and music.
A more formal dance program would help CDI’s mission in uniting the different dance groups on campus under one roof, Posas said.
Students involved in CDP teach dance at a charter school in Durham.
Friedmann said she is dedicated to creating a community for young dancers.
“We need to pursue this in an academic format,” she said. “We have a strong case.”
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