Department of Dance Office: DC-S131     Phone: 562-985-4747     Fax: 562-985-7896




The Dance Center at California State University, Long Beach



Video Tour

*from video: Dance Center Coutyard, 60'x60' Studios, two* Studios with hardwood, Studio/Classroom, Media/Computer Lab, Conditioning Room, Student Lounge with upstairs dressing room, Costume Shop, Student Sundeck, The Dance Clinic, the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater
The Dance Center is located on the North side of campus, directly off of Atherton Street and near the Pyramid. You can locate the Dance Center using the following maps:

  • Web image map of campus (pdf)
  • PDF maps of campus
  • Building names, codes and locations

  • the Dance Center feature:

    Seven spacious dance studios
    • three are 68' by 47'
    • three are 60' by 60'
    • the seventh is 40' by 38' and has an adjoining classroom

    The Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater

    Map to the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater

    • 230 seat theater

    • 48' wide by 20' high proscenium opening

    • 40' deep from curtain line to back wall

    • 102' wall-to-wall backstage

    • resilient, basket weave floor construction and permanently laid Harlequin Cascade dance floor for the entire stage

    • full fly space, 55' from stage floor to grid

      The first floor includes department offices, student lounge, faculty lounge, dressing rooms, classroom, green room, costume check out, scene shop.

      On the second floor there is a dance clinic, a studio/classroom, and windows overlooking the first floor studios.

      The third floor houses studios, computer/media lab, costume shop, Pilates equipment, recording studio, and a sundeck.

      Faculty offices are in a separate building across the dance courtyard.

      A 40' high outside wall in the dance courtyard displays the notation of an excerpt from "L'Apres-midi-d'un Faune" choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky.


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.

The Dance Center includes the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, seven studios, and an assortment of other spaces.

The theater and studios (and some of the other laboratories) are available for rental to off-campus groups at affordable rates. Residencies for New York based companies that wish a West Coast "second home" are in the planning stage. In the coming years the dance clinic will serve as a center for research on causes of dance injuries and the rehabilitation of injured dancers.