Rehearsals, Master Classes Pay off as Dance Students, Faculty Present Original Works at ACDFA Gala

dancegala.jpegSSU dancers prepare to perform Nichele Van Portfleet's (undergraduate
student) "Parched" at the American College Dance Festival's West Regional
GALA concert in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As twenty Sonoma State dance enthusiasts sat around a Chili's table in Scottsdale, Arizona at midnight, they anxiously awaited the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Gala selection, which was to be posted online that evening.

Having performed earlier that night and endured three days of intense master classes and technical rehearsals, they were in utter disbelief when they saw that both of their pieces had been selected.

One dancer jumped out of her chair, iPhone in hand, shouting, "WE MADE THE GALA!" Cheers and tears erupted from the table of twenty, disrupting the late-night ambiance of the restaurant. Their months of hard work in rehearsals had paid off.

For the first time a faculty or student choreographed work had been chosen to perform in the Gala Concert and the profound honor included works by SSU faculty and students.

This year, SSU's Department of Theatre Arts & Dance had brought two dances to be shown in the ACDFA formal concerts: Parched by undergraduate, Nichele Van Portfleet and Interface by the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, Kristen Daley.

ACDFA is a nationally known conference that provides a setting where college students and professors can showcase their work outside of their own college campuses. The primary focus of the association is to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent among collegiate dancers.

The four-day long conference, which began on March 13, offered numerous classes embodying all styles of dance to attendees. Students, faculty and guest artists were given the opportunity to showcase their newest choreographed works in a performance setting, and were given educational feedback from renowned dance professionals.

Sixteen schools attended this regional conference, totaling thirty-three original works. After having seen all of the pieces, a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals selected eleven of the strongest dances from the conference to be performed a second time in the Gala-- the prestigious, closing concert of the regional conference.

Sonoma State University performed alongside highly recognized universities such as University of Arizona, Arizona State University, California Polytechnic State University, and Mills College.

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