Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Tufts Dance Collective, 1978-


The Tufts Dance Collective (TDC) was initially conceived as a partnership between students and faculty. The organization replaced the discarded Dance Advisory Board, whose officers became the Steering Committee for the new collective.

Partnered with the Physical Education Department, TDC planned, organized and executed shows for the end of each semester. Originally the shows were faculty-choreographed and consisted solely of students from classes in the dance department. Another function of the collective included the importation of visiting performers and dance companies, for shows and for special master classes.

The 1978 Winter Dance was TDC's first show. It was held in what used to be the Cousens Dance Studio, located above the baseball cage. For that spring semester, TDC hoped to host a student-choreographed show.

By 1986 the description of the Collective had changed. It had become an "informal organization in which dancers of all backgrounds combine efforts to create a show consisting of a full flavor of different dance styles."Some years, dances were organized around a theme, usually with serious intent. In 1986 TDC was joined by Sarabande (another student organization), and the Department of Drama and Dance, in sponsoring their end-of-the-semester dances, held in Cohen Auditorium.

Practice space for the Collective remained in Cousens until 1993.At the end of that year Cousens Dance Studio was converted, and the dancers moved to tiny Jackson Gym. Co-Artistic Directors of TDC Krista Kupperschmidt and Christy Uchida complained to The Daily about the loss of their practice space.

Over the years, as the Department of Drama and Dance's web page describes, TDC became "a student-run, extracurricular, modern dance group open to students of all levels and experience."Gone was the association with the PE department, as well as faculty advisors and advanced dance classes. The old organization, with a steering committee, gave way in the 1980s to a system with two artistic directors. Students choreographed every dance, and dancers were anyone who wished to perform. Moreover, the end-of-the-semester dance show had moved from the spacious hall of Cohen Auditorium to the tiny studio in Jackson Gym, which necessitated small audiences and numerous performances. This change came in part from the organizations' decision not to charge for tickets to their shows.

In the late 1990s Tufts students had more dance and performance art organizations to choose from, including TDC, Sarabande, and Spirit of Color. Practice time was tougher than ever to come by, even though a studio in Hill Hall and a separate room in Jackson now supplemented the space in Jackson gym. Moreover, dance organizations were becoming very popular with students, particularly TDC.During the 2000-2001 year, more than 200 students participated in the Tufts Dance Collective. Audiences who came to the dance shows spilled out of the theater at every show, forcing a response from the Dance Department.

In 2001 the Drama Department informed the group that they would no longer be able to perform in Jackson gym. The same year, as TDC struggled to handle the large number of interested participants, the constitution of the group was amended to include five officers, rather than the old system empowering two artistic directors.

These officers, with Kelly Dutton and Jen Fisher at the head, spearheaded an effort to move TDC's winter and spring shows back into Cohen Auditorium, and the shows were an instant success, each quickly selling out. Hundreds of students came out each semester to join TDC, and limits were placed on the numbers of dancers allowed on stage.

Today, in 2003, TDC remains a prominent and popular group on campus, practicing wherever and whenever they can find space.

Sources:TW, OBS, TJ

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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