“Under One Roof” Event Unifies Dance with Menlo Arts Program


Seniors Victoria Wat and Joshua Lim perform a duet in the new dance room. Staff Photo: Bella Guel.

Georgia Paye, Staff Writer

Faculty, parents, and students involved with arts at Menlo gathered together in the Creative Arts and Design Center (CADC) on Wednesday night, Aug. 28, to commemorate that all the arts classes are now “under one roof” with the new addition of a dance room. The ceremony included many performances including the boys chorus, who sang a variety of Beatles songs, the cast from The Old Man and the Old Moon, who performed a song from the musical, and a duet dance performance.

The dance room used to be a separate, portable building from the CADC, located next to the cafeteria. Due to the new construction of the theatre, the old dance room was torn down. The dance room is now permanently located in the former chorus room inside of the CADC. “It’s bringing people of different talents and interests together under one roof. So they can collaborate their ideas and build upon each other,” Sophomore Peter Hanson, who has participated in Menlo theatre productions, said. The inclusion of the dance room inside the CADC creates a sense of unity among all of the arts.

Furthermore, Jan Chandler, the Upper School dance teacher, explains that the addition of the dance room also means that “the dancers finally have a home.” “Up until now, we’ve been in so many different places over the years,” Chandler said. “This is my 11th move on this campus in all the years I have been here. Now they’ve got a home and it’s important.”

The former chorus room was renovated with spring hardwood floors, mirrors, ballet bars and tall ceilings. “[The dancers] need that roofline to stand tall. Not that they couldn’t dance in the other room, but you need that sense of soaring that when you leap, you’re not going to hit something,” Chandler said. Additionally, the size of the dance room is identical to the size of the stage in the Florence Moore theater which makes it perfect for practicing routines and performances.

Besides the new dance room, construction started last year to build the Spieker Center for the Performing arts. The new theatre will be located in between the CADC and the cafeteria. Chandler says she is most excited to be “bringing back a lot of Menlo alumni because of the fact that we will have a stage that’s worthy of the program.”