All HARID students are housed on campus in a modern 18,000 square-foot residence. The Carol M. Russo Residence Hall contains thirty rooms and accommodates five resident supervisors and as many as sixty-five students. Separate living areas are provided for male and female students. Each room is designed for double or triple occupancy, has a full bathroom, and is furnished with beds, dressers, mirrors, wardrobes, and chairs. The rooms also accommodate small refrigerators (not provided).
High-speed Internet service (with parental controls) is provided in each room so students may log on and work on their virtual academic courses at any convenient time.
Russo Hall also contains a dining hall, student leisure rooms, Pilates equipment centers, laundry facilities, and outdoor courtyards. An administrative office is located next to the reception area. Internal and external alarm systems and video-surveillance equipment help ensure the students’ safety and security.
Russo Hall is staffed by a full-time manager, five resident supervisors, and several part-time supervisors. Campus security personnel are employed by the Conservatory and are on duty each weekday evening and on weekends. Food service is provided by Daidone Dining Services, a local caterer thoroughly familiar with the nutritional requirements and concerns of young dancers. Menus are planned and developed with input from a registered dietician.
Student life at HARID is, in many ways, similar to that of any boarding school. Parents, siblings, and hometown friends seem far away at times; however, a warm, supportive camaraderie quickly develops among the students, and the faculty and staff are always available to provide support and assistance.
Understandably, adjustments must be made before the students feel at home in their new surroundings. For some, the structure imposed by residence and campus life feels restrictive, and the rigorous schedule of classes and activities can seem overwhelming. Within a short time, however, the students adapt to their new routine.
HARID students are special young people. They have chosen to sacrifice many of the things teenagers normally experience growing up at home in order to pursue their dreams of becoming professional dancers. It is nonetheless important that the students have opportunities to socialize, relax on weekends, pursue personal interests, and simply have fun. At HARID, considerable effort is directed toward providing these kinds of opportunities.
During the academic year, the Student Council is encouraged to plan various activities such as parties, holiday celebrations, and the production of an annual yearbook. Transportation is regularly provided to places of worship, shopping areas, libraries, movie theaters, parks, and beaches. Weekend trips to various South Florida attractions, including zoos, museums, galleries, and recreational areas, are also offered.
While the priorities at HARID remain clearly focused on training and education, students have many opportunities to explore other interests and to enjoy the benefits of living in South Florida.
To further enrich the education offered at HARID, students are encouraged to attend a variety of cultural events each year. Tickets and transportation are provided to performances by local and visiting dance companies, symphony orchestras, theater groups, and opera companies.
Within the constraints of driver and vehicle availability, HARID’s residence supervisors provide all local transportation for students, including travel to and from airports before and after holidays, to places of worship, to medical appointments, and on recreational outings. All drivers are properly licensed and HARID’s vehicles are strictly maintained.
HARID provides access to a wide variety of local medical professionals as needed or upon request.
Weekly injury assessments are provided on campus by John G. Mahoney, MSPT.