This spring, Anderson University dance students attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA). Nine dancers attended the annual East Central Region conference, where they were fully encompassed in the world of dance for four days.
The students spent their time learning new styles of dance, performing in front of industry leaders, and auditioning to be part of national dance programs, including the American Dance Festival summer programs and scholarships, the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, and the annual gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
“During the four-day conference, students got to take part in a professional setting, learned new styles from instructors, and connected with peers who will be their future support group and network,” said Shauna Steele, assistant professor of dance.
AU performed two choreographed works at the conference including Consternation by Holly Jones and Rapha by Tralene Baldwin.
“Attending the ACDFA positively affects both my students and the overall success of the dance program. It gives my students more stages to perform, it makes them more marketable, and it gives them more connections to their industry,” said Steele. “As a professional, it allows me the opportunity to be a part of conversations about changes in the field, to receive feedback, and to recharge my batteries.”Elizabeth Loveland, a junior dance major, found the conference especially helpful. “We all feel really blessed to be a part of the AU dance program; it has provided us with a faculty that pushes, encourages, and inspires us, a family of dancers to share in our experiences, and a divine purpose behind our dancing,” said Loveland. “It was especially affirming to see that our work at a smaller Christian school was just as relevant and powerful as the dance programs at larger schools.”
Attending prestigious conferences also helps to increase the visibility of AU’s dance program. “I continually hear that our students hear our name though opportunities like this. The majority of dancers come to AU because they have heard about us through word of mouth,” said Steele.
With the AU dancers finding so much success with this conference, programs similar to ACDFA will continue to be part of the opportunities offered by the AU dance program.
— Kimberly Werline is a 2013 graduate of Anderson University, majoring in communication arts. Werline is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.