SRU dance program joins national organization; launches honor society chapter


Taylor Hahn dancing

Taylor Hahn, a Slippery Rock University dance major from Hanover, serves as president of a new dance honorary at SRU, the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. (Photo by Ben Viatori.)

Oct. 13, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - You'll excuse the faculty and students involved with Slippery Rock University's dance program if they begin - well, dancing in the hallways.

After a successful review by the National Dance Education Organization, SRU's dance program has been accepted for membership; and as a result, formed a chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts honorary, sponsored by the NDEO. NDEO is a non-profit organization supporting dance education.

The honorary not only adds additional prestige to the already national recognized program, but provides students with networking opportunities and resume-building credentials, according to Nora Ambrosio, SRU professor of dance and chapter adviser.

"This is a highly regarded dance honorary," said Ambrosio. "It really encourages the exploration of dance education, performance, research, outreach and overall advocacy for dance in higher education."

According to the NDEO website, the National Honor Society for Dance Arts was created to "recognize artistic merit, leadership and achievements of dance students."

"NDEO offers exciting opportunities for student members such as networking, conferences and continuing education," said Michelle Slavik, a dance major from Philadelphia. "Having NDEO on a resume can open doors into jobs. Many dance professionals are part of the organization and recognize its high quality reputation."

Slavik, who hopes to teach dance at the collegiate level, said SRU's program has provided her with a variety of performance opportunities both on and off campus. She recently appeared in the short film, "Plow Plan Reap," by guest artist Marta Renzi, a friend of Jennifer Keller, SRU interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Student officers for the honorary include:

  • President: Taylor Hahn, a dance major from Hanover;
  • Vice president, Michelle Slavik, a dance major from Philadelphia;
  • Secretary: Maria Crist, a dance major from Lancaster;
  • Treasurer: Alyssa George, a dance major from Brunswick, Ohio;
  • Historian: Lindsay McGivern, a dance major from Allison Park;
  • Public Relations office: Kelly Page, a dance major from Buckhannon, West Virginia;
  • Philanthropy: Monica Traggiai, a dance and elementary education major from Sarver;
  • Event coordinator: Savannah McCartney, a dance major from Moundsville, West Virginia;
  • Event coordinator: Natalie Goforth, a dance major from Cleveland;
  • New member educator: Katie Vrankin, a dance major from Hanover

"Pittsburgh has so many opportunities in performing, choreographing and teaching and I believe NDEO will help students connect with individuals in the area much easier," said Page.

"Our previous honorary, Sigma Rho Delta, was only recognized at one or two other universities in the country and did not give us the networking and professional development that NDEO provides," Page said. "This organization also has a higher standard for its members. For example, members must have a 3.5 GPA and earn a minimum of 45 points overall in several different categories."

Hahn said the organization promotes the growth of the art of dance.

"This honorary is a good way for dancers to get involved within the department and to spread their love of dance to others," she said. "This organization is a way to get mentoring from other dancers in the profession. It is also a great help with networking and a way to share ideas."

SRU's dance program, which recently launched a bachelor of fine arts in dance, has recently been ranked 5th in the nation from among 260 public and private schools as surveyed by

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