Modeling troupes forced to practice in parking garages

Photo courtesy: Faces Modeling Troupe

Walking down the runway with confidence, like they’ve practiced on runways numerous times, on-campus modeling organizations like FACES and Images Modeling Troupe have been forced to practice in parking garages around Tallahassee.

In the daytime, garages are used to store workers’ cars. But at night the modeling organizations uses them to practice their techniques and walk for the runway.

Twenty-year-old Alexander Harris became a member of Images last fall. Harris was always aware of the challenges his organization has had to face with practicing in garages instead of on campus in closed spaces.

“I personally hate being way too exposed to the elements in the garage,” Harris said.

Developing asthmatic bronchitis, Harris worried about continuing issues with his health and hopes one day there is a safe haven for student organizations on FAMU’s campus.

“Actually, building student workout facilities that are 24 hours and well equipped other than the [rec center] can help students’ health tremendously when rehearsing for shows,” Harris said.

FAMU’s Hansel Tookes Student Recreation Center is only open Monday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m. Students have complained, saying that the closing time is a conflict for them because of everyone’s availability.

“Majority of the organization is only able to meet at 7:30 or 8 p.m. to begin practice,” said Deldrick Graham, who joined Images three years ago.

With the hope of getting some support from the school, Graham said he is OK with the location of practice — he just wishes for some further assistance.

“Being that they know Images practices in Benjamin Banneker garage they could add fans or something to help with the weather conditions,” Graham said.

Erick Cadet joined FACES back in fall 2017. Cadet said things weren’t that different than it is now with the practice location.

“Some complications that came with practicing at the garage was the weather, whether it was rainy, sunny or cold, you’d feel the effect,” Cadet said.

With the weather affecting the students’ health, it also affects their performance.

“Wet floors, being too hot, or too cold take a toll on us, and it’s hazardous in heels and hard bottoms,” Cadet said.

Students have injured themselves trying to practice on the wet floors in the garages.

“I think FAMU should at least try to open up a facility for students because since 2017 I’ve seen my organization work hard with the circumstances and having to practice in the garages around town,” Cadet said.

With this semester still in the early stages, the student organizations are hoping FAMU can move students out of Tallahassee garages. Creating a safe haven for these organizations that have rehearsals in garages around town would be a major change in their organization’s history.