Two New Mexico State University graduate dance students may see their original choreography showcased at a national dance conference this summer.
Jermey Edmonson and Colette Miller’s piece, “The Manipulator,” was selected as an alternate for the American College Dance Association National Conference in Washington D.C. in June. Edmonson and Miller performed their piece at the South-Central American College Dance Association 2016 Gala Performance at West Texas A&M University during spring break.
“It’s great to see how far our school has come,” Edmonson said. “The schools we went against (at the regional conference) are tough, so it’s something I want to stay humble about.”
Edmonson and Miller are both members of the Traveling Airs Performing Company, a graduate dance company at NMSU.
Out of 37 dance pieces performed at the regional conference, 11 are selected for the gala performance. Four pieces, including two alternates, are selected to be performed at the national conference.
Another piece selected for the gala performance was “Baggage” by NMSU dance instructor Ann Gavit. Gavit and NMSU dance director and professor Debra Knapp also taught courses at the regional conference.
“At every conference, we talk about the premiere dance programs in our region. This year, it dawned on me that we have become one of those programs,” Gavit said. “We have had pieces in the gala five out of the last six years, and in two of those years both pieces that we have had adjudicated made it to the gala performance.”
Fifteen dance students, including three graduate students, from NMSU traveled to this year’s regional conference. The students participated in several hours of dance classes and performances throughout the three-day conference.
“There was never a lull,” said NMSU dance student Serena Robinson, who attended her first conference this year. “It was nothing like I expected it to be. It was awesome to take classes from different teachers and experts. It made me appreciate what we have here, the teachers and the community that we have here.”
Gavit said that although dancers can take advantage of numerous classes offered at the conference, she appreciated the feedback students and faculty received after each performance.
“You learn so much and it makes your taste a little more sophisticated,” Gavit said. “This was a great year and we really just grew closer.”
For more information about NMSU’s dance program, visit https://kind.nmsu.edu/
Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU