Southeastern Dance Performance Project to present concert dedicated to Mary Lou Champagne


Monday, November 12, 2018 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Department of Music and Performing Arts’ dance company, Dance Performance Project 2, will present “A Few of Her Favorite Things: A Dedication to Mary Lou Champagne” Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theatre.
     Director of Dance Keith “Skip” Costa said Southeastern’s resident student improvisational dance company will present an exclusive dance and movement improvisation concert that includes 15 performers with four solos, one duet, and four group dances.
     “Mary Lou and William Champagne are both alumni of Southeastern who fell in love while in college. Mary Lou loved dancing and continued to dance after college,” Costa explained.
     Over time, Champagne opened her own dance studio in Pearl River, La., and was very successful in dance education in her area, Costa said.
     “Mary Lou’s love for dance is the reason the Champagne family established a scholarship about 10 years ago. She passed away in the summer of 2017 at the age of 88,” Costa explained. “As of today, the Mary Lou Champagne Scholarship has been awarded each semester to a total of 13 dance majors/dance minors to help continue their dance education at Southeastern.”
     “Moods change from joyful, to religious, to personal, which are all based on the themes selected from the list, submitted by her husband and family, of some of Mary Lou Champagne’s favorite things she enjoyed in life,” Costa said. “Music was selected to enhance the dances from the styles of music that she loved, including Dean Martin, Perry Como, and Frank Sinatra, among others. Several scholarship recipients will perform solos and a duet.”
     Dancers performing in the concert include Alaura Cervini, Metairie; Ashley Covington, Brianna Denmark, Brooke Harris, Trevor Jenkins, and Alexis May, all of Denham Springs; John Duplantier, Covington; Brooke Himel, Plaquemine; Brooklyn Jackson, Kattie Kelly, and Destiny White, all of New Orleans; Hayley Jordan, Baton Rouge; Gabrielle Levet, Mandeville; and Emma Pinion, Loranger.
     Tickets to the concert are $8 for students, seniors and children and $10 general admission and will be available 30 minutes prior to the performance in the Vonnie Borden Theatre lobby.
     For more information, contact Costa at

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