Stridsberg said some of the first students who expressed interest in participating on the Dance Team were student-athletes involved in other intercollegiate athletics programs at Wittenberg. She said that paired well with a realization she had after seeing a photo of a high school football player who also participated in the marching band at halftime.
“I realize that may not be a possibility for all student-athletes, but it inspired me,” she said. “With communication and organization, we should encourage our students to set their goals high and pursue their passions. Many students have reached out to me who do spring sports, cheer, theatre, etc. I have told all of them that I am willing to work around availability so that the students don’t have to pick one or the other.”
Creating opportunities for students with varied interests and passions to also pursue dance is one part of the equation for Stridsberg. She hopes to develop a team of committed dancers who are supportive of one another, who provide a significant boost to school spirit at campus events, and who enrich the experience of attending Wittenberg.
Stridsberg, who has taught at Wittenberg and her alma mater, Otterbein University, for more than a decade, is uniquely positioned to lead this new Dance Team. Stridsberg earned a Master of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography, where she performed for the Second Avenue Dance Company. She performed globally, on the high seas, and with the New York Titans Dance Team at Madison Square Garden. She is an actor at Short North Stage, an equity theater in Columbus, and she also teaches at BalletMet & K Studio, where she is the assistant director of the competitive team.
As Wittenebrg’s team grows and develops, Stridsberg hopes that opportunities for competition become part of the equation as well.
“Collegiate dance teams are HUGE right now, and gaining more popularity by the day,” she said. “I cannot thank Wittenberg enough for putting their faith into me to build this team and set a precedent to guide the team’s path.
“Whether it’s trophies or experiences – hopefully both! – I am so excited to see what the future has in store for the Wittenberg Dance Team.”