University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Professor Merry Lynn Morris Earns a Feature at the Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Merry Lynn Morris, assistant director and faculty in the USF dance program, is now part of the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation for her work as inventor of the Rolling Dance Chair.

A photo of Morris and the Rolling Dance Chair, along with an accompanying description of her invention, is installed in a hands-on invention space in the Lemelson Center where children ages six to twelve can learn about her compelling and creative work with the Rolling Dance Chair.

Morris is a part of the Lemelson Center space for one year as part of one of this year's theme: adapt.

Her Rolling Dance Chair began in 2005 to give dancers with disabilities greater fluidity in their motion, thereby promoting freedom and encouraging artistic expression in their dance.

The chair is a smartphone-controlled, omnidirectional powered wheelchair that does not require arms or hands to operate. The chair received media coverage from NPR's Science Friday, the Katie Couric show, MSNBC, PBS, CNN, as well as in the Reader's Digest and the Inventor's Digest, Dance Teacher Magazine, and the Dancing Times (UK).

For more on Merry Lynn Morris, visit the USF School of Theatre and Dance website.

Read more about the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center.

Photo: Choreographer Merry Lynn Morris (left) and dancer Frank Hull demonstrate her Rolling Dance Chair at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Photo by Tom Kramer