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Cal State Fullerton dance students practice for their upcoming performance at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Dance Festival.

Pinnacle Performance

Dance Students to Perform at Kennedy Center

May 4, 2010

Six Cal State Fullerton theatre and dance majors will soon be winging their way to Washington, D.C., where they will perform as part of the May 27-29 American College Dance Festival’s National Festival.

They were selected for the honor based on outstanding artistic excellence and merit as shown in their performance of “Corvidae” under the direction of guest choreographer Colin Connor. The CSUF performance was chosen from a pool of 52 works and 30 university troupes from throughout the American College Dance Festival regions.

“This is only the second time a dance group from Fullerton has been selected to perform at the Kennedy Center,” said Debra Noble, associate professor of theatre and dance. “Although, since 2003, we have had numerous pieces selected for performance as part of the Regional Gala Concert. This year’s achievement speaks to the dedication and intensity of our dance students and the hard work of our faculty.”

Performers, by class level, are: seniors Sara Vincent, Cassie Cole, Kindra Chenier and Kathy Lawson; junior Bobby Neal; and sophomore Melanie Hansel.

“This is what we live for, to perform. So to get the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center makes me feel incredibly honored,” said Lawson. “We went to the regional festival in Arizona to share what we had to offer in the world of dance — and to experience what other colleges had to share — but I don’t think any of us were ever expecting to get to go to Washington, D.C. I recall the six of us screaming in our hotel hallway at two in the morning when we found out the exciting news. If we had such an amazing time and learned so much at regionals, I can’t wait to see what the national festival has in store for us. I’m literally counting down the days.”

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish forever,” said Vincent. “I didn't really know what to expect, after waiting until my senior year to be able to go, I was more excited for the experience in general. It was different to perform in front of adjudicators and knowing the audience was full of knowledgeable dancers was very intimidating. Then the audience gave us a very big applause at the end of our first performance so it was nice to know that all our hard work was recognized,” Vincent continued.

“The whole experience was something that opened my eyes,” said Neal of performing at the regional contest. “So many schools with great talent all merging together and cheering each other on. I loved it. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

“I have really enjoyed my time here at Cal State Fullerton. I could never imagine all the wonderful opportunities that I have been luck to participate in,” added Vincent. “This trip (to the regionals) was icing on the cake and the fact that we got invited to Washington is just more proof of how much our hard work has paid off.”

“The Kennedy Center. Wow,” noted Neal, who hopes to eventually become a choreographer and teach dance. “This is such an honor and a dream. I can’t believe I’m going to be representing Fullerton and the California schools.”

The American College Dance Festival was established to support and promote college and university dance majors and their departments. It has established 10 regions throughout the country that host regional conferences, as well as the biennial National College Dance Festival in Washington, D.C.

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