Southeastern dance students perform at Kennedy Center National Dance Festival
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
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RISING TO THE OCCASION - Southeastern dance students Jeoffery Harris Jr., left, and Nicole Judson pose in front of their performance photo in the lobby of the Kennedy Center. The pair performed Harris’ choreographed work “River Rise” at the American College Dance Festival Association’s National Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
HAMMOND – Southeastern dance students Nicole Judson of Baton Rouge and Jeoffery Harris Jr. of New Orleans recently performed at the American College Dance Festival Association’s (ACDFA) National Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
At 10 regional festivals from across the nation with 5,000 participants, 431 choreographic works were adjudicated, and of those pieces, only 30 were selected for performance at the Kennedy Center. “River Rise,” a dance choreographed Harris, was selected for the national conference.
“As a choreographer, it was a great honor to perform my work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,” Harris said. “It was truly an unforgettable experience to dance where celebrities and other talented artists have performed before me. Being the first student from Southeastern whose choreography was selected for the national level is a great achievement for me as a choreographer.”
Fellow dance student Judson also performed in Harris’ piece at the conference.
“Performing at the Kennedy Center was such an honor and experience on its own. Being in the presence of and surrounded by so many people who have the same passion and talent and are able to share this artistic, memorable and honorable experience is the biggest honor of all,” Judson said. “This whole experience showed me dance is truly my passion and love; it motivates me to keep going.”
Southeastern Dance Professor Martie Fellom, who accompanied Harris and Judson to the conference, called it the experience of a lifetime.
“Jeoffery and Nicole performed with beautiful precision and genuine commitment at the Kennedy Center. I had tears in my eyes as I watched them dance,” Fellom said. “After viewing three nights of concerts, I am reassured that college dance is alive and well in the United States, especially at Southeastern.”
She said students at Southeastern study dance to earn a dance concentration or minor, compared to other universities with dance majors. “Although Harris and Judson are pursuing other degree programs at Southeastern, they study dance with great passion, which showed in their performance.”
“Having Jeoffery’s choreography selected over faculty, guest artists and student works across the nation offers additional proof of excellence at Southeastern,” she said.