The establishment of UNC’s new dance minor, which will debut in fall 2013 or 2014, is what UNC’s long-waiting dance community deserves.
The details about the classes, requirements and faculty are still being worked out, but the passage of the measure by Chancellor Holden Thorp is a signal that UNC is moving in the right direction.
Prospective students who are just as committed to dance as they are to other schoolwork will finally be relieved of the pressure to choose other schools that offer dance programs.
A dance minor will be a great addition to the other fine arts degrees that the school offers. The integration of the dance minor will be a boon to the already flourishing art community on campus.
Most of all, having a dance minor brings a sense of legitimacy to the thriving dance community at UNC. There are many dancers on campus who excel at a wide variety of styles and belong to groups that are — with one exception, ModernExtension — student-led. Bringing in faculty will be great for mentoring and will help students improve their technique and understanding of their art.
Starting a new program is a rare thing for a university this old, and UNC shouldn’t squander the opportunity. The most important thing that the school can do is hire excellent, knowledgeable faculty.
The University should look to UNC School of the Arts and other schools in the UNC system that offer dance programs as examples of how to run an exceptional program — and potentially as sources of faculty.
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