Florida State University School of Dance served as host for the American College Dance Association’s Southeast Conference, held March 12-15, 2022 in Tallahassee, FL. More than 350 participants and volunteers from 23 schools across the region flooded FSU’s Montgomery Hall for a packed schedule that included 91 classes and workshops and 8 performances over 4 days.
The 2022 ACDA Southeast Conference was guided by the theme, Hindsight is 2020, a play on the circumstances which bore the conference. FSU had been named in 2019 as organizer of the March 2020 conference, which was canceled mere days before welcoming registrants to campus. From the cancelled conference, FSU was able to recycle some elements, including wristbands and signs. But not all stayed the same.
Conference organizer Rachel Hunter, MFA:
“We decided to build a brand-new schedule to take into account lessons learned from the past two years in supporting and expanding our love of dance. Taking a look at how we have been viewing work and feedback during the pandemic, we stripped down the process and removed the element of adjudication works at this conference. However, we added discussions and sessions on feedback to support continuation of artistic processes and encourage the development of choreographic works. We included workshops specifically for faculty to gather and discuss the changes and challenges in arts higher education in addition to the numerous classes and workshops available to students including ballet, jazz, modern, tap, martial arts, poetry, musical theatre, and more.”
Amongst the participants were scores of FSU School of Dance alums now teaching in dance programs across the region.
Kaitlin Christensen Sacco (MFA 2015) noted, “This was my fourth ACDA event, but this time I came as a faculty member. I was able to teach a Floor Barre class, tap class and contemporary class for more than 65 new dancers.”
Sarah Harkness (MFA 2011) brought students from Sante Fe College in Gainesville, FL, where she is Associate Professor of Dance. “It was an unexpectedly emotional time, taking our students through the halls and onto the stage I call home. It felt right to pass that experience on to them.”
Hosting ACDA’s southeast regional conference was absolutely energizing. It was a return to physicality, creativity, and all things Dance – in real time and in person.
– Anjali Austin, School of Dance Chair
The American College Dance Association’s primary focus is to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments.
ACDA’s sponsorship of regional conferences and the national dance festival provides the venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. The conferences also provide the unique opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum. The conferences are the primary means for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and to gain exposure to the diversity of college dance throughout the United States. Many conferences culminate with the presentation of pieces selected for their exemplary artistic quality.