PULLMAN, Wash. — Students taking dance classes at Washington State University have a little extra spring in their steps this semester with the installation of a solid, sprung wood floor designed especially for dancing.

Until now, dancers shared the Wadleigh Theatre stage that created a logistical nightmare with acting, costuming and lighting classes also needing the space. In addition, the stage floor is ill suited for a leap, arabesque or plié because it’s a hard, imperfect surface.

The new floor became a reality in Daggy Hall, Room1A, this summer. The $29,000 price tag was funded by a Minor Capital Improvement Grant (MCI), private donations, including a gift from WSU Regent Kenneth Alhadeff and fund raisers. Still needed to complete the studio are dance barres and floor to ceiling mirrors.

Dance instructor Phyllis Gooden-Young refers to the dangers of dancing on hard surfaces when she says, “Our goal is to still be able to walk upright when we’re older.” Gooden-Young is the only professional instructor at the university and offers classes in the School of Music and Theatre Arts in the College of Liberal Arts.

Students of Gooden-Young perform recitals every semester to “sold out” audiences. The next recital is Dec. 4 in Jones Theatre, Daggy Hall.