March 28, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Two Pieces of Choreography Chosen for ACDFA Conference Gala

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University had two choreographed works selected for the 2014 American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Southeast Regional Conference gala concert.

A panel of three adjudicators evaluated an estimated 50 pieces of new and original dance choreography during the four-day conference, which was held March 19-22 at Georgia College in Milledgeville, said Catherine A. Schaeffer, VSU professor of dance. Of those, 10 were selected for a gala concert.

“This is a very exciting moment for VSU dance,” she noted. “The students and I are beyond thrilled.”

Schaeffer said that VSU’s Dance Program has participated in the ACDFA Southeast Regional Conference since 2002.

“This is our first gala selection …,” she explained. “I have never seen our students so excited, motivated, grateful, and honored. They created art on the stage … and [they] delivered performances with conviction and clarity of intention.”     

Schaeffer choreographed, “Marrow,” one of the works selected for the gala concert.

“‘Marrow’ had a highly developed movement vocabulary,” shared Dana Nicolay, one of the ACDFA Southeast Regional Conference adjudicators. “The choreographer did a great job of bringing us into a world and presented a completed work with a strong beginning, middle, and end. The piece was well crafted with a sophisticated use of musicality and creation of individualized material that facilitated the expressiveness and ferocious intention of this piece. The dancers evoked a wonderful visceral quality in their fierce performance.”

Makeda S. Bryce, a senior dance major, choreographed “Attention Whore.” She said that having her choreography selected for the gala was “the icing on the cake” of her four years at VSU; she will graduate May 10 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.).

Nicolay described Bryce’s work as “well crafted.” Another conference adjudicator, Shani Collins, noted, “I like that the movement sometimes went with the text and sometimes it did not.” A third adjudicator, Amy Smith, found Bryce’s work to be “interesting … political … exploring the feminist world.”

Twenty-one VSU students — 19 dance majors and two theatre majors — attended the ACDFA Southeast Regional Conference. They enjoyed the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of dance activities, including master classes, workshops,  scholarly research presentations, adjudication and informal concerts, feedback sessions, and more. There were also opportunities for student and faculty exchanges in and out of the studio and special faculty seminars and workshops.

Rachelle Sanford, a senior dance major pursuing a B.F.A., choreographed an informal concert piece titled “Extortion.”

ACDFA has designated 12 regions through the United States. Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and parts of North Carolina are in the Southeast region. The educational mission of the association is to foster creative potential, honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and give presence and value to diversity in dance.

Contact Catherine A. Schaeffer at (229) 333-5828 or for more information.

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