Dance Students Participate in ACDFA Conference

St. Davids, PA, March 15, 2012:  Eastern University Dance participated in the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Northeast Regional Conference. The conference ran from March 2-5 at Penn State University and combines dance adjudication with dance classes, networking opportunities and performance/presentation venues. Representing Eastern University were Dr. Karen Clemente, Chair of the Dance and Theatre Department, Affiliate Professor Saleana Pettaway, Adjunct Professor Janine Bryant, and students Jazmine Bailey, Julianne Baratta, Caroline Butcher, Kristen Davies, Kayla Davis, Laura Diestler, Theresa Ford, Kristin Gianoukas, Stephanie King, Angela Littlefield, and Emily Lynn.

The Northeast Regional Conference includes four adjudicated dance concerts, totaling 42 dances that via for the honor of performing in the conference Gala concert.  

Eastern University senior Kayla A. Davis’s piece, Words, was one of 12 selected for the Northeast Regional Conference Gala Concert. Dancers in the piece included Kayla Davis, Kristin Gianoukas, and Stephanie King. The piece first debuted in Eastern University’s 2011Winter Dance Concert and is remembered for its imagination, vitality, energy and spirit, in addition to its artful and well-executed performance. Professor Saleana Pettaway served as the faculty advisor for the piece.

Some reviews of Davis’ dance, Words, included:

"The piece had a solidarity, a sisterhood, speaking through rhythms… The choreographer used rhythm as a language.  There were vast, large distances between each dancer at times--they went away from each other and were able to still feel supported.  They let each other feel their own emotions, but supported one another in a highly developed form of communication… it was language across distance."

“The dance was a discussion-percussive and vocal, including touch, sound and movement…The dance brought comfort and hope--the ending was soothing--a beautiful ending."

"There was a clarity of expression in the individual stories.  There was emotive expression--the audience was completely engaged.  The dance was believable; it was totally authentic.  The communication was clear-the clarity of intent was there.  It was a really great performance showing the strength in community.  The choreographer is to be commended."

The American College Dance Festival mission is "to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals. The educational mission of the Association is to foster creative potential, to honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, to promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and to give presence and value to diversity in dance. The Association acts as a national membership service organization to strengthen the educational network for students and faculty within the academic dance community.”


Eastern University Dance presents ON THE BRINK: A spring semester dance concert reflecting life in the spirit and the beauty of the world. In this season of new life, join Eastern University Dance for a delightful evening of performance art by faculty and student dancers and choreographers. Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m., McInnis Auditorium, Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA.

About Eastern University Dance
The Dance Program of Eastern University provides dance education in a Christian setting, enabling students who are interested in careers in dance to integrate their faith with the discipline of dance. The program approaches the study of dance in a comprehensive manner, balancing the academic curriculum with performance production. The development of satisfactory technical performance is supported by engagement with historical, socio-cultural and aesthetic theory, exploration of creative potential, and instruction in pedagogical practice. The course work and community environment engage with individuals on physical, intellectual, social and emotional levels anchored in Christian spirituality-shaping a dance professional.

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