An Open Letter to IUP

Last year, I joined an organization on campus called Dance Theater. I was part of a dance company when I was a kid, cheered for my whole high school career, and was part of two theater productions my senior year. When I came to IUP I wanted to be able to do something. In my first year of college, I wasn’t involved in anything and I felt like something was missing. In my first year at IUP, I tried out for one of the dance teams.

I didn’t get in, but at those tryouts, I saw a group of dancers having fun in the Zink lobby. I wanted to be part of their group. The next year, I tried out and got in. IUP’s Dance Theater was now my home. 

My first show was Stargazer, which the music was composed for us by one of the professors on campus. It was like nothing I had ever done before, different from my dance and theater backgrounds. It was exactly what I needed though.

I made so many new friends and got to see myself grow into the dancer I am today. My second show was to be Hocus Pocus, but because of the pandemic, we had to shut down the show. This semester was a fresh start with The Phantasmagoria of Edgar Allan Poe. The show just ended this weekend, we all put our heart and soul into this production and despite all the restrictions from COVID-19, we made it through. I

If you are interested in watching, Our production was live-streamed on YouTube and is still available to watch at this link

I never thought I would be dancing again, but here I am and I am so proud of what we have done. This semester, however, we have gotten some very sad news. IUP has announced a retrenchment plan. 

Current students would be taught, but then the dance program and major will be closed next fall. It saddens me to see future students will not be able to experience what I did with the IUP Dance Theater and all the wonderful staff that are having their jobs cut.

Not only the dance program, but my heart aches for all the staff who may not have their jobs next year. In the midst of a pandemic, people are losing what they need most, but good thing IUP has two dining halls that remain unused and a brand new science building.