Travel Recap

American College Dance Association Conference

August 2016
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Canyon, Texas - March 15- 20, 2016

Submitted by: Autumn Harms, Chi Tau Epsilon, President

This year, Sam Houston State University students attended the South Central Regional Conference held at West Texas A&M University. Several other colleges attended including: Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Austin, San Jacinto College South, University of New Mexico, Lamar University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio College, Tarrant County College Southeast, New Mexico State University, Brookhaven College, University of North Texas, Collin College, Texas Tech University, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M International University, Austin Community College, Texas Women’s University, Tarrant County College Northwest, and El Paso Community College.

200334_Elijah Gibson We Are GreenwoodThe American College Dance Association exists to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals. The educational mission of the Association is to foster creative potential, to honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, to promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and to give presence and value to diversity in dance. The Association acts as a national membership service organization to strengthen the educational network for students and faculty within the academic dance community.

Participants were given the opportunity to take dance classes offered by different instructors teaching a variety of styles. In addition, there were two adjudicated dance performances each day along with an informal concert. Sam Houston performed two pieces in the adjudicated concert and one piece in the informal concert. There were 40 pieces performed collectively in the adjudicated concerts. Out of those 40 pieces, two were chosen to represent the South Central Region in Nationals. One of the pieces chosen was, “We are Greenwood,” performed by Sam Houston and choreographed by Elijah Gibson. This piece was also selected for the ACDA national performance held in Washington, DC during the month of June.

It is always beneficial for dancers to be versatile and gain exposure to different dance styles and approaches to movement. The students were also able to establish connections with other dancers in the area, as well as meet instructors and choreographers, which could prove to be very valuable after graduation, as they strive to begin their dance career. This increases their chances of acquiring a job after graduation. Not only are the classes beneficial to the students, but also viewing the performances. Witnessing dance and increasing appreciation for dance in all its forms is priceless.

The students were also able to perform in the concerts. This increased the reputation Sam Houston has as a dance department. It also gave the students an opportunity to perform for a broader audience than those who typically attend performances at Sam Houston. There were also feedback sessions which gave the dancers the unique privilege of having a new opinion critique their dancing so that they can continue to grow. The faculty members were also able to increase their expertise by witnessing more dance performances and classes. They also established connections with other schools which could open up opportunities for Sam Houston dance in the future.

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