Florida Southern To Dedicate New Dance Studio

Nov 4, 2014

by Staff

On Thursday, Nov. 6, Florida Southern College will celebrate the grand opening of the Wynee Warden Dance Studio with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a dedicatory performance by the Florida Dance Theatre. Featuring Ballet Stars Katia Garza and Israel Rodriguez to Perform.

The ribbon-cutting will take place at the Wynee Warden Dance Studio at 7 p.m., formally opening the beautiful new facility that will be home to FSC’s new dance major, which began in August. The studio, located on Johnson Avenue across from FSC’s Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center, features a glass half-rotunda facing Lake Hollingsworth and was designed by Mike Murphey of the Lakeland firm Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects, Inc. It was built by Marcobay Construction, Inc., of Lakeland.

The Wynee Warden Dance Studio, the tenth building to be added to the Florida Southern campus since 2007, was a gift from Orlando philanthropist Wynee Warden and the Bert W. Martin Foundation.  Mrs. Warden was a devoted student of classical ballet in her youth.  The building’s striking rotunda features a new Steinway grand piano made possible from gifts from the Glenn W. and Hazelle Paxon Morrison Foundation, the Votum Foundation, and the Nona J. Rawls and H. Taylor Jones Foundation.

To celebrate the opening, Florida Dance Theatre will perform “An Evening of Classical Ballet” at 7:30 p.m. in Branscomb Auditorium. The performance will feature international ballet stars Katia Garza and Israel Rodriguez, who were principal dancers for many years for the Orlando Ballet and for the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico.

Ms. Garza has been praised by critics for her passion and skill as a ballerina in major roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Princess Odette in Swan Lake. Mr. Rodriguez has performed virtually all the major roles with companies around the world and was the first male dancer in America to perform the ballet Spartacus in its entirety. In the Nov. 6 performance, Ms. Garza and Mr. Rodriguez will perform excerpts from Swan Lake and Don Quixote.

“We are grateful for the vision and generosity of Wynee Warden, who has transferred her deep love of classical dance into this spectacular dance studio where generations of students will study ballet and other dance forms,” said President Anne Kerr. “The Wynee Warden Dance Studio is the perfect facility to allow our new dance program to flourish and become one of the best in the Southeast.”

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are available at the Branscomb Auditorium box office from 2-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets may be reserved by calling 680-3089.