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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    School of Dance readies for ‘new era’

    Joey Fisher
    Joey Fisher /The Daily Wildcat Lindsay Hawkins, a first year dance graduate student is being instructed by Douglas Nielsen, dance professor, on Monday.

    The UA School of Dance aims to uphold its reputation as one of the best in the country as it prepares its performances for the upcoming season.

    The school is recognized as one of the top schools in the U.S. and England, and has been acknowledged by Juilliard as one of the top 20 in “The Performing Arts Major’s College Guide.” Dance Spirit Magazine also named the school in the “Great College Dance Programs” list, according to the School of Dance’s website.

    “[The UA School of Dance] is in the top rank, with Julliard and Tisch,” said Doug Nielsen, a modern dance instructor. “It’s not a department, it’s the School of Dance, and that’s huge. That’s a big deal. We have that kind of respect, that autonomy.”

    Every year, dancers undergo a rigorous application process in order to become part of the UA School of Dance.

    Lindsay Hawkins, a first-year graduate student studying dance, said she is thankful for the opportunity to dance at the UA and is looking forward to the upcoming school year.

    “I liked [the UA] the most of the three schools that I applied to,” Hawkins said. “When I came here and auditioned, I liked the faculty; everybody was really welcoming. I loved the classes that I took, and it just felt like a place that I belonged.”

    Each year, the School of Dance draws hundreds for its performances. This year, the program will again prove it deserves its reputation with the annual JAZZ in AZ concert on Oct. 1-3.

    The concert will follow dancers from “a high-energy tap dance opener to a savagely physical finale,” according to administrative assistant Whitney Herr-Buchholz. JAZZ in AZ is expected to draw dancers from all over the country to the UA to take classes, perform and watch UA dancers in action.

    Later in the fall, the program will continue its performances with two weekends of the show Premium Blend, set for Oct. 24 to Nov. 3. James Clouser, a visiting professor at the School of Dance, said he plans to premiere the ballet Slipknots and Hitches.

    Matthew Lynady, a dance junior, said he has hopes of participating in the ballet.

    “I’d like to be in the big ballet piece,” Lynady said. “I haven’t gotten to do that. Performances are what you really want because everyone gets to take class, but not everyone gets to perform.”
    The program will end the year with a performance titled Seasonal Treasures: Student Spotlight.

    “A new era is about to begin as the next generation of dance artists breaks from our UA dance stage and fans out across the country,” Herr-Buchholz said. “Seasonal Treasures: Student Spotlight will give you a glimpse into a not-too-distant world where our dancers take part in discoveries yet to be made.”

    Expectations are high for dancers this year, Nielsen said, and faculty members are eager to watch them succeed.

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