Dancers Travel to FSU for an Extraordinary Weekend

The dancers of the Fine Arts Center's afternoon dance class traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, to visit Florida State University’s Dance Department and to attend two evening concerts. Joyce Fausone, the Dance Department’s Coordinator of Special Events and Community Relations, arranged a tour of the Dance Department and scheduled an opportunity for the dancers to observe a contemporary class taught by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and a ballet class with Rick McCullough. Patty Phillips, the co-chair of the department, spoke to the dancers about the curriculum and Joyce Fausone spoke about special programs such as FSU in NYC, Dance in Paris and the summer program in Valencia, Spain. For more information about the FSU Dance Department, please visit
Dirk Holleman, the FAC Technical Theatre teacher, acted as chaperone and driver was instrumental in managing the bus and navigating Tallahassee and the FSU campus. Dirk is an alumnus of the Fine Arts Center and of FSU.

Photo taken in front of the Westcott Building at the main entrance into the campus. Pictured
are Dirk Holleman, Maren Trofatter, Lauren Pittman, Rhiannon Laymon, Beth Byouk, Jacki Calle, Kara Nightingale, Hannah Winton, Samantha Patterson, Nikki Morath, Coryn Owens, Jan Woodward, Charlotte Brown, Tiffany Bunch (theatre student).

Following the tour of the Dance Department, Larry Gerber, Professor of Voice and Coordinator of the Voice Program in the College of Music, gave a tour of the Music building and facilities along with graduate student Heather Stuyverson. Larry Gerber was the first voice teacher at the Fine Arts Center and was Karen Parks’ first voice teacher. Karen Parks is the current voice instructor at the Fine Arts Center.
The FAC students visited Annie Fox’s dorm room and asked her questions about being a dance major at FSU and what college life is really like. Blake Ulmer, an FAC graduate and current FSU dance major, helped set up the dorm visit and talked with the FAC dancers, too.
Jan Woodward, the current FAC dance teacher, earned her M.F.A. in dance from FSU. She had time to speak with Patty Phillips, co-chair of the department and one of her professors in graduate school, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, who is the Founder and Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women and was named FSU’s 2011-2012 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, the highest award granted to FSU faculty.
Amanda Porter performed in both of the evening concerts of the Days of Dance, which were two different programs. Amanda performed in Rick McCullough’s Cool Tunes! on Saturday evening and the student-choreographed Awakening on Friday night. Gerri Houlihan, who has been a guest artist at the FAC and is a professor of dance at FSU, also had a lovely piece of choreography performed at the Friday concert.
View more photos of the trip here or find out more at the FAC Dance blog.