December 19, 2022
On Campus

Gotta Dance

Wittenberg Introduces New Dance Team that Combines Competition and Community

Dancing is fun. Dancing is good exercise. And best of all, dancing is something that everyone can do.

For Christeen Stridsberg, instructor of theatre and dance at Wittenberg University, all of those things have always been true as she enthusiastically teaches her favorite subject. As the director of a new Dance Team at Wittenberg, she is emphasizing the third element most of all as she hosts workouts for interested students who are currently enrolled and begins the process of recruiting new students to the University.

“I have high hopes and big dreams for this team,” Stridsberg said. “As important as the technical skills are – building physical strength, flexibility and stamina – I am prioritizing leadership, confidence, and passion at the top of my list as qualities to instill in the dancers.

“I want to create a sense of community and team spirit that extends beyond the field/court and can be felt campus-wide. Representation is important to me, and I want Wittenberg students to know that I have aspirations for my dancers regardless of gender and body type.”
Christeen Stridsberg, Wittenberg Dance Team Director

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.”

Ryan Maurer
Ryan Maurer
Associate Director of Athletics for Communications, Web Strategy & Content

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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