Professor Megan Mizanty and five selected dancers, Ash Henderson, Sami Heckendorn, Shannon Mckenzie, Cedric Owusu, and Jessica Mcdowell from Wilson College, took a trip to Richmond, VA to attend the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Conference from Mar. 4 to 8.
When asked how she chose the five dancers, Mizanty commented, “I chose undergraduates who are leaders in our arts community at Wilson. Nearly all of them are dance majors or dance minors.”
The ACDA’s primary focus is to support and promote the talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments. The conference provided a venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. Along with the venue, there was a unique opportunity for students and faculty to have their own dances adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum. The ACDA allows the colleges and universities dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting, while exposing them to the diversity of the national college dance world.
While at the conference, Professor Mizanty presented her research project called “Project Transmit.” She stated, “It was fun to present my research to a new group of undergraduates, primarily from West Virginia and Virginia.”
Mizanty continued, “I enjoyed presenting my research, as well as watching one of our graduate students, Shylo Martinez, perform her adjudicated work with undergraduate Sami Heckendorn.” There was a wide variety of classes offered at the conference, such as hip-hop, heel dancing, contemporary, jazz, afro-cuban, and even exercise and stamina classes. Every night there was a performance, during which schools from all over got to showcase their talents.
Sami Heckendorn ‘20, who attended the conference last year and this year, stated, “This year was fun. It was different compared to last year. This year classes were longer, and they filled up so fast, but the variety of classes given was good, because everybody was able to branch out and explore different things. I was actually excited that I got a chance to perform also.”