New dance program soars to success

Sometimes‚ a new program takes a few years to really catch on. Not so with the new dance minor offered by the department of theatre and performance studies.

Georgia (Dec 29, 2005) — Sometimes‚ a new program takes a few years to really catch on. Not so with the new dance minor offered by the department of theatre and performance studies.

“We had hoped to be able to find 15 minors in the first year‚” said Professor Ivan Pulinkala‚ who is heading up the program. “By mid−September‚ we already had 44.”

In addition‚ more than four times as many students auditioned for the new KSU Dance Company than it could accommodate‚ and all of the dance classes for fall semester were over−enrolled.

“The students have been very enthusiastic‚” Pulinkala said. “We are already adding more classes next semester to handle the demand.”

During pre−registration for spring‚ classes filled up in the first two days. Pulinkala expects approximately 120 students in six classes next semester and will be expanding the dance company from eight to 25 members.

“The introduction of the dance minor represents another significant step in the College of the Arts’ and the university’s development‚” Dean Joseph Meeks said. “I am pleased that the students have responded with such incredible enthusiasm.”
To handle the demand‚ the department is hiring two more adjunct professors and planning to bring in guest artists for workshops.

The flexible nature of this academic and performance program is geared toward providing students the opportunity to receive a well−rounded dance education at the undergraduate level‚ preparing them physically and intellectually for the professional world of dance‚ Pulinkala said.

Students will also have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills they need to pursue dance at a graduate level‚ he added.

Pulinkala‚ who hopes to steadily build the dance minor into a major‚ is excited about the overwhelming response. “It’s a good problem to have‚” he said.

He already has high expectations for his students; the dance company is preparing to perform at the American College Dance Conference at Florida State University in 2006 and will present its first campus performance in spring. This December‚ several of the dancers are performing in the production of “The Monkey King” in Shanghai‚ China.

Pulinkala‚ however‚ emphasizes that the program isn’t just for students who would like to be professional dancers.

“Students who take these classes will gain confidence and control‚” he said. “Dance is a wonderful tool to gain trust in your physicality.”

Classes are offered in ballet‚ modern‚ musical theatre dance forms‚ jazz‚ choreography‚ dance history‚ kinesiology‚ performance‚ tap and ethnic dance.
Beginning in January‚ students will practice and perform in a new state−of−the−art dance studio in the physical education building. This new facility‚ equipped with a double−sprung floor‚ will accommodate a seating capacity of approximately 100.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit