A Dedicated Space for Dancers


Photo Courtesy of Lisa Busfield

The Moravian College Dance Company has recently received a new dance studio in the old Root Cellar on South Campus. The Company Director, Lisa Busfield, said that the girls’ previous studio was in Johnston Hall next to the weight room, which was getting too small for the now 15-member dance company. 

“We as a company were running out of space,” said Busfield. “The athletic department was also growing, and our space would be useful to them.” 

The plans for the new dance studio in the Root Cellar were discussed in the fall of 2019 and by March of 2020 the project was underway. So far, about $45,000 has been put into the studio, and there is still more to do.

“As the program is growing, we want to have more than one space,” said Busfield. “We have a dressing room, two studios, and a storage unit that will also be utilized with the athletic trainer.” The athletic department donated 14 lockers for dance company members to use as storage when practicing in the Root Cellar.

Christiana Anselmo, ‘21, commented on the value of having a dedicated space. “The new studio is important to me because it is the culmination of so many years of hard work, fundraising, and networking,” she said. “The efforts of dance faculty, generous alumnae, institutional advancement, the spacing committee, athletics, and student leaders is so inspiring to me. This studio is not a shared space, it’s all our own and it has turned into my home away from home.”

Since the renovation of this new studio, the company is hopeful that they will continue to see an increase in membership. “I’m just so happy we can keep expanding at the rate that we are,” said Sarah Gross, ’22. This company has grown so much and all I want for our newest members and those to come is the opportunity to expand their dance knowledge and gain new perspectives about the art.” 

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Busfield
Photo Courtesy of Lisa Busfield

The Moravian College Dance Company was founded in 1975 and has seen many improvements since this time 46 years ago. In addition to the new studio, a dance minor was implemented into Moravian’s academic curriculum in the fall of 2019. Two students have graduated with the dance minor so far, and there are currently 7-8 more who have declared minors in this program.

The dark times of COVID-19 have taken a toll on the dance company, as girls can only now access the Root Cellar individually as opposed to as a group. Their fall performance has been cancelled. They are hoping that their larger spring showcase, normally performed in Foy Hall on south campus, can go on. 

“We are looking to provide the concert outside somewhere if inside is not an option,” said Busfield. “As for the fall, I’ve decided to collect individual videos from each member and create a compilation to document the hard work they have done this semester.”

The plans for the coming months, according to Busfield, are to add more classes that revolve specifically around dance to the Moravian College curriculum, as well as to completely finish the renovation of the studio.