The Longwood Company of Dancers (LXD), Longwood Company of Belly Dancers, and other on-campus performing arts organizations have been relocated from their rehearsal studio in Willett Hall in lieu of a new state-of-the-art basketball performance center.
According to LXD, the company discovered they were being relocated in February from students, not administrators. The organization was not officially notified of the situation until March 17, when they were allotted a week to move into Lankford Hall.
“The space had not been cleaned,” reported a member of LXD, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There were dead ladybugs all over the floors while we’re trying to, you know, dance, roll on the floor, and not crunch dead bugs.”
The organization also reported that there was no air conditioning and windows were painted shut at the time of their move, making it hard for air to circulate during practice.
LXD also did not have adequate flooring in the Lankford Hall studio until dancers contacted staff to help move their Marley, or dance floor, out of Willett Hall. After deciding to work together, staff unexpectedly moved the Marley on their own.
“I had to call in my own company’s members to put together our floor, and they [staff members] had moved the Marley without us instead of waiting for us to touch it, and they didn’t do it right,” explains a member of LXD. “So now, there are a bunch of creases in our Marley and there’s tape on it that they didn't take up, which has left just a lot of sticky mess for us to deal with ourselves, which made me as a member just feel really disrespected.”
The studio in Willett Hall provided more space, so dancers now explain that it is difficult to spread out in the new studio in fear of hitting one another. The organization also must now store their costumes, shoes, and additional materials outside of the new studio in CSTAC Hall. In their previous studio, storage for such items was provided close by.
The Longwood Company of Belly Dance was also moved into Lankford Hall from the studio in Willett Hall and attested to similar issues.
Both organizations expressed strong feelings toward their respective situations, believing the University could have approached these moves in a more respectful manner.
An anonymous member of the Longwood Company of Belly Dance said, “For me personally, I think it was just kind of sloppy because if there wasn't a space prepared for us [to move into] in the beginning, we shouldn’t have to give up the space that not only my company, but also the Longwood Company of Dancers have been using for years now.”
“All of the dance organizations are not only being undervalued and disregarded,” expressed an LXD member, “but they are also being disrespected by the lack of communication and by people not following through on their words.”
LXD and the Longwood Company of Belly Dance are making the best of the situation but feel “disrespected” by the University’s “lack of communication.”