Our state-of-the-art facility adds to our excellent instruction the best equipment and infrastructure that is presently available for dance. All dance studios and classrooms are located in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Building built in 2005 and located at the north end of campus.
All technique and lab based courses as well as rehearsals are held in the four studios located on the second floor of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. All studios feature sprung floors and top-of-the-line Harlequin Cascade marley. A description of each studio is listed below.
With 1,500 square feet and 79 feet of permanent barre, Studio I is perfectly suited for ballet instruction. 35 feet of mirror run the length of the studio allowing easy correction of technique. Like all our studios, it features a sprung floor and Harlequin brand vinyl marley for optimal floor surface. Studio I is also frequently home to our brand-new 18-foot-high Aerial Silk rigging and harness. This allows students the ability to learn new styles of performance technique, allowing them to be more marketable in today’s modern artistic environment.
An intimate studio, Studio II features a portable Harlequin brand marley floor that can be put away to reveal a sprung hardwood dance surface, perfectly suited for tap and jazz. Studio II, like all of our studios, features a state-of-the-art sound system that allows choreographers to use CD, tape, mp3, laptop, or almost any other form of music/sound playback. Along with Studio I, Studio II includes a clear-com intercom system and closed-circuit audio feed that allows performers to hear the audio program from the Studio Theater during performances, allowing dancers ample time to prepare and warm-up for their performance.
Studios III and IV
As more spacious studios, Studios III and IV allow choreographers the freedom to set pieces using larger casts. Each studio measures approximately 2,500 square feet, and feature large windows allowing natural light to flood the room during the day. During the evening, natural-tinted halogen lights allow work to continue without risking eyestrain. Studio IV is the location of our weekly Department Meeting and allows seating of up to 100 and projection and video facilities. Studios III and IV can be converted into a performance venue, the Bitsy Irby Studio Theater.
Our theory classes are generally conducted in classrooms located on the first floor of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. Each classroom comes equipped with a computer/projector system designed to assist in visual displays for lectures, Internet access, and video viewing.
The Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Studio Theater is a state-of-the-art experimental-style studio performance space. It features 1,500 square feet of performance space, seating for over 200 audience members, digital mac-based audio playback, flexible video projection facilities, Clear-com intercom and closed-circuit audio feeds to backstage areas including the dressing rooms, and a full-featured lighting system including programmable LED lighting fixtures and the industry-standard Jands Vista lighting control system. This performance space allows students the freedom to explore new forms of artistic expression as well as being able to accurately recreate classical forms of dance.
Center for the Arts Concert Hall
The 800 seat Concert Hall in the Belhaven University Center for the Arts is acoustically splendid and visually inspiring. A lofty ceiling and beautiful stained-glass windows adorn this first-rate concert venue. With regular performances by Belhaven University dance ensembles, frequent performances by the Mississippi Symphony and other local artists, and occasional performances of international recognition; Belhaven students enjoy a kaleidoscope of concert experiences. Equipped with state of the art technology, the Concert Hall can be used for cinematic and multimedia presentations, as well as limited dance productions.
Two state-of-the-art Mac Computer labs are located in Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. Dance students have access to these computer labs to facilitate their coursework and creative projects. Each lab is filled with new computers updated with current application programs to assist students in creating and editing audio recordings, photographs, posters, programs, video dances, websites, etc.
Read about our Dance Clinic which provides medical services for the students, faculty, and staff by a certified athletic trainer.