Department of Dance Named First-Runner Up for National College Dance Festival

The Brenau University Department of Dance participated with great success in the American College Dance Association Conference hosted by Coker College March 1-5.

Group of students with faculty member in lobby.
Dance majors with Interim Chair of Dance Madia Cooper at the 2018 ACDA Conference.

Interim Chair of Dance Madia Cooper-Ashirifi and 13 dancers traveled to Hartsville, South Carolina, for the conference, which included more than 10 universities from the Southeast that shared dance works informally and in adjudicated – or judged – performances.

Most notably, the Brenau dancers’ performance of guest artist Kassandra Taylor Newberry’s piece “Ah … I See” was selected out of 44 dances to be performed in the final gala concert at ACDA. Only 10 pieces are chosen to be performed in the gala concert. The conference adjudicators remarked that the piece is “an infinitely fascinating and surprising dance powered by unexpected rhythmic variations and a syncopated and unique vocabulary expertly rendered by the laser-focused ensemble.”

The piece was also chosen as the first runner-up to show at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in the National College Dance Festival in June. As first alternate, Brenau will perform in the National College Dance Festival as the first choice if one of the two invited schools cannot perform. In either case, Brenau and the piece will be highlighted in the National Festival program.

Both remarkable accomplishments are firsts in the Department of Dance’s history since attending ACDA for the past 10 years.

Additionally, senior Nia Byrd’s work “Ennui” was given great feedback and insight from adjudicators and was very well received by peers and colleagues. The Brenau performance of guest artist Juel Lane’s work “The Willingness to Try” shown in the informal concert was also very well received.