Winona State University will celebrate the official dedication of the Gretchen Cohenour Dance Studio in Memorial Hall at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in WSU’s Business Engagement Center in Somsen Hall. 

The naming ceremony is part of a day-long celebration that includes open studio time, a meet and greet, and more. All events are free and open to the public, and attendees are asked to register online at: 

Cohenour joined the Winona State community in 1989 and served many years as a faculty member before retiring in 2021 with Emerita status. She has received numerous awards and recognitions during her career, including having her choreography presented by the Southern Theatre in the McKnight Fellows Concert and MDT Concert. In addition, her piece entitled “Deja Trois” was featured in the Gala Concert at the American College Dance Festival. 

Much of the growth of WSU’s dance program can be attributed to Cohenour’s contributions. She is known for integrating somatic practices, art making, interdisciplinary collaboration, meditation, yoga, and embodied movement research into the program, and helped introduce the WSU dance program into the larger visual arts community through performances on WSU’s campus and at independent programs, including the Great River Shakespeare Festival, the Beethoven Festival, and the Frozen River Film Festival.  

Cohenour’s lasting legacy at Winona State includes the dance program’s annual Dancescape event, which features students, faculty, and guest dancers, choreographers, and designers. Supporters are encouraged to consider a gift to the “Friends of Dance” Fund supporting Dancescape in honor of Cohenour: 

For more information about the Winona State University dance program or to purchase tickets for Dancescape 2023, taking place Feb. 16-18, visit: