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Once a Gym, Now a Dance Studio

February 20, 2013

350 students, drawn from all Drexel Colleges and Schools, take dance classes  each term and about 90 of those students participate in our three performing companies: The Drexel Dance Ensemble, for upperclassmen; FreshDance, the freshmen-only company; and the Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble, which performs at local elementary and middle schools. The Dance program has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years under the direction of Dr. Miriam Giguere, necessitating the need for a second dance  studio, as the Ellen Forman Dance Studio in MacAlister Hall has been running at capacity. The Dance program can now boast of one of the most beautiful studios in town. The new studio is on the 4th floor of Main Building in what was originally the women’s gymnasium when the Main Building was built in 1891. The studio itself is about 50-feet by 60-feet with generous 22-foot ceilings in a space that previously housed the evening Architecture program until its move to the URBN Center.  This space was totally renovated to create the gorgeous new studio and support facilities, thanks to donations the College has received over the years from many wonderful supporters.

“418 Main really represents not only growth in the program in terms of handling a larger numbers of dance students, but for the first time we can accommodate specialized residencies and guest artist opportunities that will offer so much to our program,” said Dr. Giguere, Dance Program Director.

The Dance program will host a performance of faculty choreography, free and open to the public, on March 5th, 6th, and 7th at 5 PM to celebrate the new studio which is a great chance to see this impressive renovation while taking in superb new dances created by faculty for our student dancers. Click here for more information on the Dance program. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can support the Westphal College’s programs, students and faculty contact Louisa Hanshew at or 215-895-6401.