Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Home » News » FSU School of Dance celebrates 90-year legacy with annual ‘An Evening of Dance’ performance

FSU School of Dance celebrates 90-year legacy with annual ‘An Evening of Dance’ performance

Published October 25, 2023

By: Anna Prentiss, La Toya Davis Craig, Jasmine Hur, Rodrigo Santa Maria

A group of women raising their hands up in a dance pose in front of a red curtain led by a dance instructor (FSU School of Dance).

Students work with School of Dance alumni and former Urban Bush Women company member, Bennaldra Williams (BFA, 2005), on the restaging of Professor Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “Give Your Hands to Struggle.” (Meagan Helman)

Florida State University’s School of Dance presents “An Evening of Dance,” featuring a diverse lineup of seven live works restaged by retired and current faculty ranging from classical ballet to postmodern choreography.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and 4 in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall on the FSU campus. Each performance will have a facilitated pre-show discussion with choreographers and rehearsal directors.

“It has been an honor to bring retired faculty in to work with our current students,” said Anjali Austin, chair of the School of Dance. “The pieces that are being restaged have traveled the world and appeared on some of the biggest stages.”

This year’s Evening of Dance will include restaged works by retired faculty Lynda Davis, Anthony Morgan, Gerri Houlihan, Dan Wagoner and Nancy Smith Fichter. The lineup also features work restaged by School of Dance Krafft Professor Suzanne Farrell and work choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor and Nancy Smith Fichter Professor.

Nearly 60 dance students worked with retired faculty to prepare for the performances, learning works that have been showcased on the Nancy Smith Fichter stage throughout the dance program’s history.

“Providing students with the opportunity to have such an in-depth experience with these legends in the dance field is something that will stay with them throughout their careers,” Austin said.

Farrell, a legendary ballerina and founder of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet company, will showcase an excerpt from “Divertimento 15,” a George Balanchine ballet piece with assistance from former company members Kristin Gallagher and Michael Cook.

Zollar, a MacArthur Fellow and the founder of Urban Bush Women, choreographed “Give Your Hands to Struggle,” a call to examine themes of legacy and lineage — a tribute to civil rights leaders. The title is based on a speech by Adam Clayton Powell “What’s in Your Hands.” FSU alumna Bennalldra Williams, a former Urban Bush Women company member, restaged the piece.

“This is sure to be a year to remember,” said James Frazier, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “The works featured in the program showcase the school’s long and celebrated history. As a School of Dance alumnus myself, I am incredibly proud, and I can’t wait to see the show.”

This year, the School of Dance celebrates their 90th anniversary of dance on Florida State University’s campus, 60 years of professional degree programs and 20 years since the formation of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography.

The school is highly regarded for the creation, reconstruction and execution of first-class eclectic dance repertories. For the past 60 years, students have had the opportunity to be rewarded for the creation of such repertoire by pursuing degrees in the field of dance.

Tickets for “An Evening of Dance” performances are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, $12 for children and non-FSU students and $10 for FSU students with ID. All seating is general admission.

For tickets or more information, visit