Dance Students Garner Accolades at Recent American College Dance Festival

Two works by Montclair State students selected out of 52 to be among final 12 best to perform in closing Gala performance

Photo by Robert Cooper

Students in the Dance division perform "I See You," choreographed by guest artist Earl Mosley, one of the two pieces performed by Montclair State students selected to be performed during the American College Dance Festival's Gala, on closing night.

Nineteen Montclair State University dance majors attended the Northeast Regional American College Dance Festival (ACDF), where they presented two pieces of choreography for adjudication, March 25-28 at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y.  Guest artist Earl Mosley's I See You, and junior dance major Tracy Dunbar's Realize were presented for adjudication along with 52 other dances from universities and colleges in the region.  Both pieces were selected, along with 10 others, to represent the best dances of the festival in the closing Gala performance. [No more than two pieces from any institution may be adjudicated in a conference year.]

“We were delighted that both of our pieces were chosen for this prestigious performance,” said Prof. Lorraine Katterhenry, deputy chair of dance for the Department of the Theatre and Dance.

But, it’s not the first time Montclair State has garnered this honor. Since Montclair State began participating in the ACDF back in 1987, Katterhenry said its dance students have been tapped to present at least one piece of choreography at the Gala Concert a total of 20 times. In addition, the University has been selected to perform in eight of the last 12 National American College Dance festivals.

Katterhenry credited the University’s rigorous program with preparing dancers to excel in the field.

“We select interesting and cutting-edge [guest] choreographers to set repertory on our students but, then, we work to bring the work to a high level of artistry after the guest artist leaves.  We also work to mentor our student choreographers to help them create works that inspire and engage their audience,” she explained. 

Katterhenry said she was proud of her students for garnering such a well-deserved honor.

“The students performed brilliantly and had a wonderful time. We are all delirious with exhaustion and happiness,” said Katterhenry. 

Senior Colleen Lynch agreed.

"ACDF was a wonderful way to perform alongside other schools in the area," said Lynch, who just graduated with her BFA in Dance. "It was also a great way to take different types of dance classes and meet new people. We all had a lot of fun performing together." 

In addition to the ACDF, dance students also performed at the historic 92nd Street Y in New York City. The Dance division was asked to perform in the "Fridays at Noon" performance series and presented I See You by Mosley and Continuous Replay by Bill T. Jones.

"Performing at the 92nd Street Y was an amazing way to end my performance career at Montclair State because of the Y's historical significance in dance," Lynch said. "It was great to perform for different types of people in the community, who responded well to our performance."

Dance majors and other students in the College of the Arts performed at "An Evening for the Arts," a benefit on April 11.  Twenty-one dance majors performed I See You and there was a solo by junior dance major Crystal Rodriguez. Read more here.