Interactive Map of the Campus: Look for the 360º images of the Dance Center located on the northern most part of the map!
The need for a dance facility was under discussion starting in 1966. With the introduction at CSULB of the first dance major in the (then) 18 campus California State University system, space concerns became critical. Serious planning began in 1980 when BFA and MFA degrees in dance were projected. The rapidly increasing size of the dance program, the high quality of the program, and the need for highly specialized facilities in order to offer an appropriate curriculum all were instrumental in promoting the new dance facility. The department took possession of the completed center in January, 1994.The architects were father and son Don and Kurt Gibbs of Hugh Gibbs and Donald Gibbs Architects, Long Beach.
Planning started with a lengthy (many hours) meeting where Department of Dance faculty compiled a list of everything we would ever want in a dance facility. We "blue skyed," knowing that we would be asked to prioritize at a later time. But we never did prioritize as everything we asked for was included in the Dance Center. The architects met with department faculty, frequently talked with the department chair, and also met a few times with a group of dance majors to discuss their ideas for the building. Among other requests, the students asked for a sundeck and for a courtyard area where dancers could gather. Both were provided.
The exceptionally functional design is the result of the close working relationship between architects and department. The architects take credit for the unusually shaped building which is a "festival of colors" with green, orange, red, and eggplant outer walls.
For more information, watch the short documentary about the building of the Dance Center: The House That Joan Built.
This frameset document contains:
Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater
- Large stage perfect for dance
- Medium size house of 200+ seats
- Green Room for performers
- Large dressing rooms for men and women
- Two star dressing rooms
- Clean and expansive lobby
- State of the art video projection and sound
- Resident Technical Director for maintaining the theater: Stephanie Losleben
Dance Studios and Teaching Spaces
- Five Marley flooring dance studios
- Two hardwood floor dance studios
- One traditional smart classroom
- One half smart classroom/half smart dance studio
- A robust Pilates Lab/classroom space
- Dance Clinic
- Student Only Lounge
- 15 27" iMac workstations w/ headphones
- Lecture station to TVs
- Photo and Video editing software
- Midi Keyboard for music and sound scoring
- Resident staff Filmmaker/Photographer on site for creative assistance: Gregory R.R. Crosby
The Costume Shop in the Dance Department is a professional workspace dedicated solely to the design and creation of dance costumes. This space is not shared with any other artistic department at CSULB. The shop also houses a beautiful Costume Stock of over twenty years of built dance costumes. Students have the opportunity to take a Costume Design for Dance class to learn design, collaboration and hand and machine sewing skills. There is also the opportunity to work under the Shop Manager and Designer to help create the shows for stage while learning valuable sewing and design skills. The Costume Shop elevates the level of production here at CSULB. This shop not only serves as a way to bring ideas to life on stage, but also as a laboratory for students to learn what it is like to work with a professional designer and costume shop.
For any inquiries, please contact Kelsey Vidic:
Costume Shop Process: Fittings and Concerts
The Dance Costume Shop at CSULB is committed to creating a space that is inclusive to all students, including BIPOC, LGBTIAQ+ and students with a disability.
You will be provided at least one costume per concert (at no extra fee or cost to you). The shop manager will reach out, via your CSULB student email, for a time slot to take your measurements and to get to know you! This will take no more than 15 minutes. Following the measurements, the shop manager will reach out again for one to two costume fittings. Fittings typically last between 20-30 minutes. There will be someone present throughout the whole process (from measurements to final show) to assist you in any costuming needs as they come up, please don’t hesitate to ask.
- Please respond to your CSULB student email in a timely manner (within 48 hours of receiving the email).
- If you are going to be late or need to reschedule, please let the shop know. We can work with you if something unexpected comes up or if you are dealing with a difficult situation. Communication is key.
- There will be between one-three people present in a fitting. This includes the Shop Manager, Costume Designer and Costume Technician.
- During the fitting or measurement session, a member of the costume staff will need to adjust clothing or place objects (i.e., measuring tapes, safety pins) on and near your body. We will always ask consent and will always honor the dancer’s choice in these situations.
- Please let us know if you need breaks during the fitting, they usually last between 20-30 minutes.
- We will be using sharp objects (safety pins, scissors, etc.) near your body to adjust the clothing.
- Let us know if a costume is uncomfortable or isn’t working for your movement. We want to know that! Try your most extreme movements from the choreography in the fitting.
DRESS REHEARSALS AND CONCERT:
- Each performer is responsible for his/her own make-up, makeup removers and hair supplies/products. If you need assistance with this or don’t have your own supplies, feel free to contact the shop manager and we can assist you.
- Wear appropriate underwear as discussed in the fittings.
- If you don’t have the proper undergarments or have any questions on this, please talk to the Costume Designer or Shop Manager or ask during a fitting.
- No eating, drinking, or smoking in costume. Water is always ok.
- There is a wardrobe crew assigned to assist you during every show. They will help you keep track of your costume, do the laundry, help in quick changes and can assist you with any questions you have.
- If your costume malfunctions, you are responsible to write down what happened, don’t worry it happens all the time! Repair notes need to be written on the Costume Notes paper posted on the back of the dressing room door. You are welcome to notify a wardrobe person as well.
- Laundry should be placed in the laundry baskets in the dressing rooms. We will only wash the items you place in the basket. In special cases, some costume items cannot be washed, but we will notify you if your costume falls in this category.
- Hang your costumes neatly on the rack at the end of the evening just as you found it, one piece per hanger. Clean up your dressing room space after each dress rehearsal and performance.
The Costume Shop is here to serve the stories and ideas being presented on stage. We care deeply about how you feel and what you need in a specific costume, so do not hesitate to ask. We are here to support you.
Costume Shop Commitment
Actions we are committed to taking as a Costume Shop.
*if any of these actions are not met, or you notice we have missed something to accommodate you, please contact the Costume Shop Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- We believe that all bodies of every variety are beautiful. We take time and care to design and make/alter costumes that fit your individual body type.
- We recognize that skin tones are many different shades.
- We are committed to finding the best skin tone shade, with the performer's approval, for any costume that is attempting to be the color of your skin.
- We are committed to labeling and categorizing the costume stock and materials in a way that is inclusive and denies stereotypes, racism, gender assumption, or culturally inappropriate terms.
- We acknowledge that every person with a disability requires different accommodations. We are committed to adapting our costume shop to any student that would like to work in the shop or is using the space for fittings or classes.
- With every new dancer that is being fitted in the shop, we ask you fill out a “Memo of Understanding” to familiarize us with your preferred name, pronouns, and body comfortability.
- We acknowledge that there are different products and increased time and costs needed to achieve hairstyles for Black students. The Shop Manager and Designer will assist in finding a style that works best with that specific dancer.
- The Shop Manager will be attentive during fittings and dress rehearsals to recognize and point out to the Designer (Lighting or Costume) if a certain color choice is working against or not in favor with the color of the dancer’s skin.
*If you do not feel comfortable talking to the Costume Shop Manager about your needs or how the Costume Shop has not met them, here are alternative resources to contact:
A fully functioning recording studio support student and faculty creative endevers. Operated by our resident staff music director: Don Nichols.