California Lutheran University’s Theatre Arts department is going to reach new heights with the entrance into the American College Dance Association conference and the possibility of adding a dance minor to the academic curriculum. Students are currently scheduled to enter the competition for the Baja Region in late March.
“It’s really nerve-wracking. It’s a huge conference and basically everybody in the Baja Region gets to go and register. The idea is that you send in a piece and there’s a lot of hurdles to jump through, but it’s really fun and we can end up going to DC,” Kristina Albarian, a junior student representing Cal Lutheran in the upcoming dance competition said.
This would be the first time Cal Lutheran will be attending the competition for dance.
“Cal Lu is already familiar with ACDF, which is the American College Drama Festival for the Theatre Department, so this is essentially the equivalent to that for dance. It’s actually the first time that we’ve ever been invited because it’s the first year that we’ve had a program that we can get categorized as a dance program for a college to be a part of it,” Raleigh Stamper, a senior student also representing Cal Lutheran in the competition said.
If the performers representing Cal Lutheran make it through to the end of the competition, they will end up traveling to Washington D.C. to perform their winning piece at a gala event.
“If we got judged and moved forward in the rounds, the ultimate goal is to perform at a gala performance in Washington D.C. so that’s the big culminating path that that’s on,” Stamper said.
Students attending this competition will also get to take many other types of dance classes throughout the day. They will have a variety of dance styles to choose from when they aren’t competing.
“There is a whole different array of different classes you can take, so we’re just going to spend our whole day taking classes, which will be super fun,” Kelsey Reed, a senior student representing Cal Lutheran at the competition said.
In addition to attending the ACDA competition for the first time, Cal Lutheran is also in the process of creating a potential dance minor for students.
“I think the students are going to do great at ACDA, and right now, we are still at the tail-end in the process of trying to create a dance minor,” Barbara Wegher-Thompson, a Cal Lutheran dance professor said.
“It’s on its way, so it doesn’t exist yet. The dance minor as it would be, already exists here, which is pretty cool because we already have multiple technique classes and we have an intro and capstone type class, so making it a minor is more of making it something official on paper,” Stamper said.
In order to rate student interest amongst Cal Lutheran students, there is a student-developed survey going around to determine whether someone would like to declare a dance minor, take dance classes or support this addition
“We know the technique classes that go on on-campus for dance. We know the dance clubs that exist on-campus, and we know the people that are in Choreography and things like that, so we have sent out surveys to the entire class roster that we have on Blackboard,” Stamper said. “We’ve also reached out to Theatre classes, and I know there has to be a ton of people that are like Political Science majors or other majors that have that interest that aren’t currently taking a class too.”
Currently, Cal Lutheran is working towards adding a dance minor under the Theatre Arts department, and is gearing up to head to the ACDA competition within the next month.
Published March 9th, 2016