Dance program nix unfair, unwise

Letter to Editor by Shannon Frazer

Anyone well-versed in the website might recognize one familiar photo: it pictures the sign outside of Barker Hall, which lists that the building houses the campus Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC and dance studio.

As iconic as that particular sign is to the thousands of students who pass it on a daily basis, it’s a shame that UK has cut the dance minor and dance certification programs, as of last November, for budgetary reasons.

It’s one thing to say dance is not an educational priority because of low enrollment and lack of faculty, and therefore it must be cut.

But to end the program abruptly and to take away the opportunity for other students to appreciate and participate in it goes beyond issues of cost.

I don’t believe that lack of funding is an adequate reason for the suspension of the dance program.

I know several people who are involved with dance at UK, and I have attended UK Dance Ensemble concerts. Through those first-hand experiences, I can confidently say that support for the arts is necessary to maintain a diverse college culture.

While I support UK’s decision to hire a new Kinesiology and Health Promotion faculty member, that was only made possible by the re-dispersion of funds once supporting the only full-time dance instructor prior to her retirement. That retirement shouldn’t mark the end of an entire program.

UK needs to maintain and support its dance programs to stay within its top-20 goals. I realize financial resources remain tight, but to be competitive nationally the arts should be a priority.

Shannon Frazer

journalism senior