Butler University to close 102-year-old dance academy

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Butler University said Thursday that it plans to close its Jordan Academy of Dance, ending the 102-year-old program due to economic reasons.

The academy, which has more than 200 students, ages 3-17, will shut down May 31, the university said.

“Despite efforts to increase enrollment and boost revenue, the Jordan Academy of Dance is not a sustainable program and Butler University can no longer afford to subsidize the operation,” Butler announced in a written statement.

The academy, at 52nd Street and Boulevard Place in Indianapolis, teaches ballet, modern and jazz dance. It employs two full-time employees and six hourly workers.

The  affiliate dance school of the Butler Ballet and Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, one of only two pre-professional, pre-college dance programs in the nation to earn that status.

Butler said the academy “cannot compete with the number of for-profit dance schools in Indianapolis” and decided “that the money used to subsidize the academy would be better spent on its central mission: the nationally renowned undergraduate dance program.”


  • Same Old Song
    Somehow, I think Butler University has decided that anything with "Jordan" in the name has to be removed or refashioned into something Arthur Jordan wouldn't recognize - starting with one of the most powerful university-operated radio stations then in existence - WAJC, which was part and parcel of the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music when it was acquired by Butler in 1951 (albeit with a much smaller transmitter and antenna than what it would have later). Now, WAJC is long gone, the college of MUSIC, nee' Conservatory, is now "Fine Arts", and now the college prep Academy will disappear...

    Oh, for the days gone by, when Bertha and her 400-foot tower helped locate Hinkle Fieldhouse...
  • Volunteering
    Unfortunately the university did not give the parents of the dance students any opportunity to "volunteer" to donate or raise the funds necessary to keep this top notch pre-professional dance curriculum going. There are many willing and capable parents who would gladly have done so. Butler University handled this very poorly and unprofessionally.
  • Volunteering?
    Is one of the disappointed people volunteering to fund the shortfall? Apparently the fees being paid don't cover the expenses. How long should the University cover such a loss? It's not generating students, necessarily (do all of the students from the Academy later attend Butler? I doubt it). There are an awful lot of dance studios in the city, and it's not Butler's mission to train pre-college dance students, while it is the mission of private, for-profit studios. I'd rather see the money spent on students at the University than on subsidizing a non-University program.
    • FYI
      It's those same "for profit" competitors that Jordan was providing a large # of dance roles in such performances as the Nutcracker (i.e. Dance Refinery) vs. their own students.
      Please explain that Ms. Jarvis.
    • long ago, memory
      Sad but better yet read the comment at the end. love you, dad
    • One parent's viewpoint
      it is regretable that an institution with the resources of one like Butler would mishandle an announcement such as this. The first inkling of financial unsustainability which was shared with the parents of these 200 students was done concurrently withthe closure announcement.
      Where were the discussions with their client base prior to a closure decision? Was any thought given to enlisting the intellectual and financial resources of those most affected by this decision? Very disappointing and unprofessional. Shame on the Administration for desecrating an institution with over 100+ years of history and impact in our community.

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