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Campaign for dance minor gains support

The push for the creation of a dance minor at UNC is steadily gaining ground — and could be available to students as early as the 2014-15 school year.

While UNC currently offers dance classes, there is no dance major or minor in place, a standard that students like Lauren Friedmann said she would like to change.

The success of the campaign for a dance minor is largely due to the efforts of Friedmann, a UNC junior and the president and founder of the Carolina Dance Project, said other members of the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor.

Friedmann, who studies mathematics and economics, said the minor would not only benefit artistic students on campus, but also more scientific-minded students like herself.

“I’m a strong believer that dance can affect the way you think and improve your ability to solve problems,” she said.

As a member of the chancellor’s committee, Friedmann, along with a group of supporters, has presented the dance minor to Chancellor Holden Thorp.

Rachel Myrick, chairwoman of the committee, which meets monthly, said she has been supportive of Friedmann’s efforts. She said the group serves as a liaison between students and administrators.

“The purpose of an advisory committee … is to ensure that administrators hear the ideas that students are passionate about and the concerns that are foremost on students’ minds,” Myrick said.

Friedmann said Thorp has been receptive of the idea of a dance minor.

Emil Kang, UNC’s executive director for the arts, is also supportive of the efforts for a dance minor, said Amanda Ziesemer, an intern at Carolina Performing Arts and committee member.

“(Kang) really wants to support the chancellor and what his vision of this program would be,” Ziesemer said.

A meeting for students to discuss the minor was held in August. More than 100 student representatives from 17 campus dance groups attended.

Friedmann said the meeting increased awareness and student support for this idea.

But she said that, in the near future, funding and planning will remain obstacles.

Friedmann said students bring the dance minor into discussion almost every year, but Thorp has said the current presentation is the furthest any campaign for the minor has come.

“The dance minor is brought up so often that it just seems to be a matter of connections being made and little pieces being pulled together,” Ziesemer said.

“We’re really feeling like, this year, we do have that.”

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