Accompanied by Professor of Dance Donna Davenport and Assistant Professor of Dance Kelly Johnson, a dozen students participated in the Northeast Regional American College Dance Association annual conference at SUNY-Potsdam in early March before the COVID-19 outbreak hit New York.
The HWS students – Alexandra Bilodeau ’20, Hannah Bixby ’23, Sarah Cavanaugh ’20, Bryna Gage ’22, Johanna Golden ’23, Emma Ibbotson ’21, Samantha Legg ’20, Molly Powers ’21, Amelia Rojek ’23, Catherine Sherwood ’20, Isabella Siddall ’21 and Sarah Underwood ’19, MAT ’20 – enjoyed the opportunity to join other dance students and were inspired by in-person connections with teachers and choreographers.
The three-day conference for college dancers featured technique classes, movement workshops and somatic sessions where students learned about dances from diverse cultures with accomplished teachers from across the region. Davenport and Johnson themselves offered dance classes, observed other faculty teaching and attended membership meetings.
“Adjudication concerts featuring outstanding performances and choreography were a highlight of the trip,” says Davenport, noting that Underwood’s solo piece, “Amalgamation,” was met with an enthusiastic reaction from the audience.
“The Dance Department is deeply grateful to William Smith Congress for providing funding to make the trip possible,” Davenport adds. “This year’s trip was especially meaningful, considering the pandemic’s social distancing rules that made it the last time they would gather as a group.”