Webster University Centennial 1915 - 2015.

This website contains information, photos and videos from the many activities that helped to celebrate 100 years of serving students. Browse this website to explore Webster's rich history and year of celebratory events that have launched us into our next 100 years.

Webster University Centennial. Celebrating 100 years of serving students with unmatched learning experiences. #webster100 1915-2015

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Webster University Centennial. Celebrating 100 years of serving students with unmatched learning experiences. #webster100 1915-2015

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Centennial Grande Finale

Dance Through the Decades

Friday, November 13, 2015

Webster University Centennial Grand FinaleFind your Dancing Shoes and Save the Date for Dance through the Decades, the Grande Finale of our year-long Centennial Celebration. Join us on Friday, November 13th for a day-long celebration of Webster’s 100th anniversary through the language of dance.

Hear the Radio Commercial with Johnny Rabbitt » 

From the Lindy Hop and the Cha Cha Slide to Ballet and Classical Thai Dance, your “dance card” will be filled with opportunities to learn about dance trends and the music that inspired them - decade by decade. You may choose to experience performance and cultural dance exhibitions or you may prefer to take in a dance-themed film!

Schedule of Events:

Decades - Social Dance
Location: The East Academic Building Rooms 253/262

9:30 - 10 a.m.
1920s, 1930s, 1940s
Presented by Ron Gibbs and Lara Turek ’04, MFA ’11
Ron Gibbs is the Development Officer for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. Ron comes to us as a Broadway veteran and director/choreographer. While living in New York City, he was the assistant to the Tony-award-winning Director/Choreographer Susan Stroman. Ron has worked with such icons as Elaine Stritch, Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt and the irrepressible Carol Channing.

Lara Turek, serves as the Development Officer, Research & Analysis at in the Office of Advancement. Prior to her career in the nonprofit industry, Lara spent 6 years as a Radio City Rockette and a total of 10 years as a professional dancer.

11 a.m.
1950s and 1960s St. Louis Teen Scene
Presented by Ron (Johnny Rabbitt) Elz, KMOX/CBS Radio
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in St. Louis. Remembering the S. S. Admiral, the building of the Gateway Arch, Elvis, the St. Louis Browns, Ike and Tina Turner, Gaslight Square, The Beatles, crime, Radio and TV, Vincent Price, burlesque...and many more blasts from the past.

The Fifties and Sixties: Change and Continuity
Presented by Professor John Chappell, Department Chair, History, Politics and International Relations
A discussion of some of the important distinctions, but also the significant connections between the two decades.

1:30 - 2 p.m.
1970s and 1980s
Presented by Radio Rich Dalton
We Were Going to Change the World in the 60’s! So What Happened? A Very Un-Scientific Look at the 70’s and 80’s.” A look back with legendary KSHE rock DJ, Radio Rich Dalton.

3 - 3:30 p.m.
1990s and 2000s Hip Hop
Presented by Kevin Hamilton, student
An exciting experiential look at social dance trends from Hip Hop culture from the 1990s to the present. Attendees are invited to participate in learning Hip Hop dance steps.

5 - 7 p.m.
President/Provost Remarks. Then, an All Decade Dance Party in the EAB Edward Jones Commons


Centennial Formal
Location: The Edge of Webster

8 – 11 p.m.
Centennial Formal
Presented by Campus Activities
The 2015 Centennial Formal, a free event with music, food and dancing for the entire Webster University community at The Edge of Webster, 359 Marshall Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119.
Contests for Best Dressed of the Decade Semi-formal, select your favorite decade and embody those fashions
Finger foods, desserts, a cash bar, professional photo booth vendor and live DJ
Complimentary shuttle service to and from The Edge of Webster will be available
More information: Campus Activities at 314-246-7837. Tickets required for this event. Limit 2 per person. Pick up tickets at the University Center Front Desk.


Dance Films
Location: The Winifred Moore Auditorium

Presented by the Webster Film Series. Enjoy an eclectic selection of dance films and documentaries.

11 a.m.
Singin’ in the Rain (1953)
Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor star in one of the most endearing musicals - filled with memorable songs and lavish dance numbers. Set during the advent of “talkies,” Don Lockwood (Kelly) must overcome his co-star’s shrill voice and her jealousy for his love interest and rising star Kathy Selden (Reynolds).

1 p.m.
Stormy Weather (1943)
The relationship between an aspiring dancer (Bill “Bojangles” Robinson) and a popular singer (Lena Horne) provides a review of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s including performances by Robinson, Horne, Dooley Wilson, Cab Calloway, Katherine Dunham, Fats Waller, and the Nicholas Brothers.

2:30 p.m.
American Bandstand Documentary (1980s)
Looking back at the beginning of “American Bandstand” and the Philadelphia years 52-64, the film features the original dancers and vintage footage of the teenage regulars and behind the scenes look at a 1950’s and 60’s teenage institution.

3:30 p.m.
Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America (1980)
This special screening celebrates legendary dance-party show that made television history and set trends in soul and R&B music, dance, and fashion. Relive those incredible “Soul Train” days with historic footage of artists including Gladys Knight & The Pips, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Elton John, and the unforgettable “Soul Train” dancers.


Performance Dance Exhibitions
Location: The Jean & Wells Hobler Center for Dance

Presented by students of the Department of Dance

12 - 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy performances of classical and contemporary ballet styles featuring a staging of the Sugar Plum Pas de Deux by Dance St. Louis Executive and Artistic Director Michael Uthoff.

2 - 2:30 p.m.
Modern Dance
Experience an exploration of modern dance and the difference between modern, postmodern, and contemporary styles featuring James Robey’s Little Blue Something that premiered at the American College Dance Association conference in 2015.

4 - 4:30 p.m.
Jazz and Tap
Be entertained by Jazz, Musical Theatre, and Tap Styles featuring work staged by Lara Teeter.

7 - 7:30 p.m.
Be inspired by the elegant beauty of aerial dance lead by Monica Bremmer of Dance En L’air.


Cultural Dance Performances
Location: The University Center: Sunnen Lounge

11 a.m.
Break Dance
Presented by Raii Saleem Morehead ’13, Alumni
A demonstration of break dance styles including popping, locking, breaking, and krumping.

1 - 1:30 p.m.
Thai Classical Dance
Presented by students of the Department of Dance
A presentation of Thai Classical Dance from the study abroad program at Webster University Thailand featuring dances learned from the Patravadi School Hua Hin, Thailand.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
The Story of Hula Dancing
Presented by Dori Neumeier