By Anjelica Michael
This year, NoVA’s own George Mason University will host the American College Dance Association Mid-Atlantic Conference. The GMU Patriots last hosted the festival as a Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2004. This Mid-Atlantic region conference will have more than 560 dancers and dance faculty in attendance representing 20 different universities.
“With our new de Laski studios, we felt it was time to share our beautiful new spaces.” Susan Shields, director of GMU’s School of Dance said. “Our students understand how fortunate they are to have incredible facilities and resources, they understand that their own university supports and believes in dance–they are very eager to share this.”
The conference will include many events, including a panel entitled “A Life in Dance” featuring six superstars in the dance world on March 9. The panel ranges from Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet, to Elizabeth Parkinson, star of Movin’ Out on Broadway, and will be open to the public.
Shields noted that, “Anyone of these artists could draw a crowd, but to have six speakers of this level is quite thrilling for us–a true blending of the professional and the academic world.”
Dancers will be taking classes in a variety of dance forms such as world dances, ballet and contemporary. Shields said that putting on an artistic program like this one is an endorsement of the quality the university provides.
“Hosting this year’s festival confirms Mason as a cultural leader in the community,” she said.
The conference runs from March 8-11 at George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. For more information on the American College Dance Festival this year, visit dance.gmu.edu.