Southeastern dancers, choreographers overcome weather challenges to attend ACDA Conference

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 ACDA Conference
by: Tonya Lowentritt

DANCERS BRAVE SNOW TO ATTEND CONFERENCE – Dance faculty member Skip Costa, far left, and Southeastern students Faith Allen, Christa Clement Sevin, Joseph Matherne and Lindsy Brown attended the 2015 South Region American College Dance Association (ACDA) Conference in Clarksville, Tenn., earlier this month. In spite of eight inches of snow and the closure of Austin Peay State University, the conference site, they were able to still attend and preform at the conference, which was compressed into two days, rather than the normal four day conference.

HAMMOND – Winter weather may have halted travel for some, but it didn't stop the creativity and learning for Southeastern Louisiana University dance faculty Skip Costa and Martie Fellom, along with four Southeastern students traveling to attend the 2015 South Region American College Dance Association (ACDA) Conference in Clarksville, Tenn., earlier this month.

"Southeastern was the first school to arrive; and we learned that Austin Peay State University had closed and would remain closed for several days due to eight inches of snow," Fellom said. "This meant that the conference could not take place."

Fellom said that the group, consisting of Faith Allen and Christa Clement Sevin of Ponchatoula, Lindsy Brown of El Paso, Tex., and Joseph Matherne of Luling, were airborne enroute to the conference and never received the message that the university was closed.

"The four-day conference was compressed into two days," she said. "Even so, it was still an enriching experience filled with master classes, concerts, adjudication feedback sessions and meetings."

Fellom said much of the cost associated with the trip was paid by student self-assessed fees and grants.

University dance faculty from the region and guest artists offer classes and lectures during the conference, Fellom said. There are also informal concerts performed, and Southeastern student Brown was selected to present her work "The Book of Life," with all four student attendees performing it.

Southeastern selected two works to perform for adjudication at the conference: Allen's solo work "Time," and Costa's piece "Courage, Hope, Strength."

"One of the highlights of the conference is the Gala concert, in which the adjudicators select several pieces to represent the best works at the conference," Fellom said. "Skip's piece was chosen for the Gala because, in the words of one of the adjudicators, 'It was elegant in its simplicity and beautifully crafted.'"

A panel of judges selected a total of eight works out of 31 dances performed at the conference to be showcased at the gala performance on the festival's final day.


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