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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Just dance

Caution fellow Aggies: College dancers will be invading Texas A&M.
The University will be presenting the American College Dance Festival March 11 to 14 and will give Aggies the chance to see what other dance programs are made of.
Amy Foy, senior anthropology major and student worker for the dance department, said the festival’s main priority is simply dance.
“The festival is all about dance – dancing in front of a camera, on a stage or on someone else’s back,” she said. “As long as it’s dancing, we’re happy.”
Students have done a lot to prepare for the festival, which will consist of dance classes and critiqued concerts, leading up to a gala Saturday, which will showcase various works from the week.
“It’s going to be really exciting when everyone arrives, and we get to see what all the schools have to offer,” said Janelle Colborne, a junior marketing major and dance minor.
Leann Huddelston, a senior university studies major, will be performing a group dance at the festival.
“I’m really looking forward to having dancers from all over being on our campus and getting to show them what we have to offer, especially now that we’re developing a major,” Huddelston said. “I’m excited about getting to take classes from other schools and getting to be in that environment. For four days, it’s straight dance. It will be nice to eat, sleep and breathe dance for four days.”
The festival’s executive director, Diane DeFries, said the purpose of the festival is to expose the dancers to feedback and to help them improve as artists.
“[American College Dance Festival Association] brings together the formidable creativity, intellect and talent of students and faculty in higher education across the country,” she said. “Attending conferences, viewing students perform choreography of their own, their peers, their faculty and guest artists, hearing feedback on that choreography by notable professionals in the field, and experiencing the energy and excitement of artistic exchange are the high points of ACDFA.”
Christine Bergeron is the director of dance at A&M. The dance minor program started in 2002 and the university dance concentration was created in 2008.
“My job is about developing the dance program at TAMU,” she said. “We hope the program will continue to grow.”
The dance program has 70 students, and produces at least three shows a year. Bergeron said next year the program plans to present a faculty concert.
For some Aggie dancers, this is an important step in reaching their ultimate goal as a dancer.
“I have been dancing since I was 4,” Huddelston said. “I have been born and raised as an Aggie, so I’ve always wanted to come here. Right now, I’m looking at going to grad school after a year off. Dance has always been a big part of my life, it’s my passion and it’s something that is a big part of who I am, and God just opened the door for the new degree plan and everything has fallen into place since.”
Other students, such as Colborne, said they are keeping busy with the festival organization.
“We’ve been cleaning out dance closets, making everything look good, sending out registration packets, getting the studio ready for concert and even sewing curtains,” she said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s going to be really cool because there is over 600 people coming. We are very excited.”
Foy said the festival is changing a little bit this year, and they are eager to see how it plays out. Two professional modern dance companies are slated to perform – Hopestone of Houston and Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company in of Austin.
“Usually the festival contains a number of adjudicated concerts and it ends with a Gala performance of a select number of pieces,” she said. “I am so excited that we have added this concert. It is a lot more work for us, but it will provide all of our participants to have one concert where we can all hang out together and watch the professionals.”
Foy said the dancers at A&M are looking to make a difference with the festival.
“The ACDFA events are wonderful,” she said. “They set up a network for college dancers to further their understanding and love of their art and skill form. My directors have only expanded on that.
“They had the idea to give 5 percent of our proceeds to DRA – Dancers Responding to Aids. It’s such a simple way for us to give back in some way.”
Check it out All dance performances are open to the public. Seating at Rudder High School is limited. Tickets are $10 at the door. Today1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Thursday12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.Friday12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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