By Shea Bove
Halfway through spring break, the Salem College Dance Company members found themselves traveling the six-hour drive back to Winston-Salem after attending the American College Dance Association Conference. The dancers had journeyed to West Virginia University ready to showcase three pieces and take various dance classes while at the conference.
Once the weekend was complete, the dancers packed their bags, climbed back into the bus, and prepared for the long drive home. While on their journey, the dancers debriefed about their experiences. They discussed what they learned, what they found interesting, what they thought went poorly, and how they could improve themselves for next year.
Junior Katherine Williams was the choreographer of the only Salem adjudicated piece performed at the conference.
Katherine reflected on the judges’ feedback saying, “I was able to portray my ideas and purpose in a way they understood, but at the same time, I made them uncomfortable. I think their feedback was based a great deal on what they expected to see, and I think that had they not come in with expectations their reactions would have been different.”
Exhausted and sore, the dancers were still able to come to the conclusion that the weekend was overall a positive one. The dancers were able to take classes that are not offered here at Salem. These classes included an H2O class where the students danced in a swimming pool. Other dancers took an introduction to stage combat class where they were able to learn how to create fake fighting routines.
In addition to taking exciting classes, the dancers were able to watch other North Carolina schools showcase their talent. Other schools present at the conference included ECU, UNCG, and Wake Forest University. The dancers spent the weekend learning from other instructors, taking interesting classes, and spent many nights with five people to a hotel room laughing, bonding, and complaining about how sore they were. The conference was an opportunity to learn more about the art of dance, but it also gave dancers in the company the time to get to know and bond with their peers.
The dancers plan on taking the feedback given and the knowledge gained at this conference to improve themselves as dancers and choreographers for the next year.
“I plan on using their feedback so that I can work on trying to choreograph with new styles,” says Williams. “And so that I can continue to portray my thoughts and ideas through dance in new and different ways.”