Posted: April 19, 2018
Four days of non-stop dancing, exposure to new styles, techniques and opportunities is experiential learning at it best. Last month, three School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) students were selected as ambassadors and awarded scholarships to attend this year's American College Dance Association (ACDA) Mid Atlantic North Regional Conference. In return, they wrote about their experience so they could share it with their classmates. They traveled to West Chester University, where they took part in master classes, watched lots of performances from colleges and universities across the region, as well as cheered on their fellow TDPS classmates that performed in an adjudicated concert. Crystal Davis was in charge of the trip, with Ronya-Lee Anderson (MFA student) assisting.
Congratulations to Bayardo Martinez Cruz, Joe Gibson and Nana Edu on being selected as TDPS ambassadors and for representing the school well. Read more about their amazing experience, in their own words.
Student Ambassador Accounts of ACDA:
The American College Dance Association (ACDA), was an extraordinary college experience. I was able to represent the University of Maryland as an ambassador, and represent myself as an artist. I attended masterclasses that allowed me to discover different dance styles and technique from other dance instructors in the mid-Atlantic region. I was given the opportunity to meet other dancers in the region as well, who share the same passion as me—dance.
A huge thank you to the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, and the University of Maryland, for allowing me to be a grateful ambassador. I really enjoyed this galvanic moment.
It was a four-day trip at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where the ACDA event was held. Twenty colleges and universities in the region attended this event with works and talents from their admitted students. Every dancer from these institutions were allowed to choose their own itinerary of masterclasses. Dancers who were performing a dance piece, sometimes had to skip a masterclass to attend their technical rehearsal. I attended the ACDA as an ambassador of the University of Maryland, so my itinerary, was full of masterclasses and dance concerts. I attended a total of seven dance masterclasses and two discussion seminars with various of instructors who taught various styles of dance. - Bayardo Martinez Cruz
With such a wide variety of classes, from Latin jazz to 20th century black dance for 21st century bodies, every day presented me with new technique and new challenges in terms of my identity as a dancer, and to be fully immersed in that experience so beneficial.
I was very impressed by my fellow UMD peers and the pure magnitude of skill with which they performed.
I was very impressed by my fellow UMD peers and the pure magnitude of skill with which they performed. Both of the UMD adjudicated pieces were in the first of the three adjudicated concerts, and I left that show proud to be a UMD student. Our program is at such a high caliber in terms of creativity and expression, and I feel so fortunate to go to a school where such quality is created and developed. Even though I had already seen the pieces multiple times throughout their individual creation processes, I still got chills watching each one of them. –Joe Gibson
I was not sure what to expect with this but I surely was not disappointed. Each day gave me an insight of what dance is in the region; from Latin Jazz to Umfundalai and the pieces in each adjudicated concerts, I saw what different schools had to offer.
The classes offered gave me such a great experience in broadening my horizons in dance.
The classes offered gave me such a great experience in broadening my horizons in dance. The classes that impacted me the most were Latin Jazz, Beyond Africa: a class teaching Umfundalai, 20th Century Black dance for the 21st Century body: a class using repertory from Donald Mckayle to relate to how dancers move now, and a Modern Jazz Mashup out of the several classes I took that weekend.
The adjudicated concerts also gave me great insight of my peers are doing. These concerts also gave me a deep appreciation in the privileges I have from UMD, having teachers that all had performance careers and choose to keep pushing me so that my great will always continue to be greater is something that can be seen through the work that UMD presented in the adjudicated concerts.
As a recent transfer student, really getting to know the people I’ll be dancing and working with was really fun. We had a blast in taking classes, rooming, and being together for the whole weekend. I would definitely rate this a 10 out of 10, 5 stars on yelp, 2 thumbs up, and will definitely try to do this again. -Nana Edu
Photo Credit Bayardo Martinez Cruz
TDPS Student at ACDA Conference
Master class at ACDA Regional Conference
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Gail Berman Masters ('78) was the keynote speaker for the event. Gail Berman [Jackal Productions] is a brilliant producer, entrepreneur, and leader in today's media culture. She exemplifies a leader who has made her own way in this world, exhibiting courage and confidence, and impacting not just the performance field, but greater society. The School is so proud to have her as an alumna and so grateful for the inspiration the she and her husband Bill Masters offer our students.
“It was a pleasure to connect with each alumni and the invited guests. We are grateful to have such valuable resources and loyal supporters of the TDPS mission, in our alumni.” -Leigh Wilson
This event provided a terrific networking opportunity for our alumni. Attendees were able to re-connect with old classmates and teachers, discover what's new in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, refresh old friendships, and develop new professional contacts. A great time was had by all and everyone is looking forward to the 2020 reunion!LA Alumni attendees enjoy festivities.