Early in April, students and faculty representing dozens of dance programs from across the country met for the American College Dance Association’s Northwest Region conference. Held at the University of Oregon in Eugene, this year’s ACDA was a celebration of diversity and inclusion through its theme, “Inter/Action.” Students participated in master classes, performed, presented original choreography, and witnessed over 50 dances over the four days. Nicholas Daulton, a junior at the University of Utah, felt that the University of Oregon did an amazing job of instilling the year’s theme throughout the conference. “I reveled in seeing those who’d taken class with me perform. There were four adjudicated concerts, each having 10-12 dances. That’s a lot of dance to watch but each time I saw someone familiar, I found myself reenergized and excited to experience their performative offering.”
Rebecca Aneloski, a third year in the program, was chosen to represent the U this year, presenting a version of her thesis work for adjudication, How Dare We (Ever Be) All. The Gala performance, traditionally held on the last evening of the festival, includes the adjudicator’s top picks from all four concerts. The School of Dance was proud to learn that Aneloski’s work had been selected for the Gala. Aneloski returned from the journey invigorated by her experience.
“The whole cast was thrilled to represent the University of Utah and the ability to share work and become a part of an even larger dance community was fantastic. My cast worked relentlessly over the year and I was very proud and grateful for their opportunity to perform the piece twice while at ACDA. I came back to Salt Lake City refreshed, hopeful and excited to continue in this field knowing I’m part of a greater collective of mindful movers, creators and thinkers.”
Daulton, a dancer in Aneloski’s cast, expressed how nervous he can get before a concert. The theme and camaraderie of the festival, however, made things feel different this time. “Having watched and danced with everyone, my nervousness transformed into admiration and support for everyone involved in the conference. Each and every person danced with passion, dedication, conviction and faith. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times when realizing that I was surrounded by people who care as much about dance as I do.”
Congratulations to Aneloski, and for their moving performances, the dancers: Micah Burkhardt, Nicholas Daulton, Austin Hardy, Natalie Jones, and Nell Rollins.