Hunter’s role as New York’s leading public college for the arts took a great leap forward in 2018 with the dedication of The Jody, the beautifully refurbished performance and laboratory space for the college’s Dance Department. Located on the fifth floor of Thomas Hunter Hall, the high-tech-equipped studio is named in honor of Jody Gottfried Arnhold, dance educator and advocate and chair of the college’s Dance Advisory Board, whose commitment has earned her the nickname “the doyenne of dance.”
Well-known for her generosity and passion for dance, Arnhold has rich, firsthand experience acquired during her 25+ years as a dance educator in New York City public schools. Her experience taught her that young people are best introduced to dance in their elementary school years. But teaching dance to children takes more than trained dancers— it requires dancers who are trained to teach. That’s why she and her husband, John, made a gift of $870,000—part of $4 million they’ve given over the years—to create a beautiful new center, with dance studio and classroom space, which will serve as home for Hunter’s Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program (AGDEP). AGDEP’s goal continues to be to prepare a new generation of dance teachers to follow in Arnhold’s footsteps.