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Dance Student News and Focuses



Chloe Redman

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 Degree

 Bachelor of Arts in Dance

About Chloe

Chloe J. Redman is a currently in the pursuit of gaining a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Akron's accredited dance program. From age ten all the way through high-school, Chloe trained at the University of Akron's Dance Institute under the executive direction of former Cincinnati ballet dancer Christina Foise. Through this pre-professional ballet based program Chloe had opportunities to learn from and work alongside local as well as international artists such as Ohio Ballet dancers Damien Highfield and Shauna Conzaman, free lance artist Brian Murphy, Neos Dance Theater, Groundworks Dance Theater, Kegwin and Company, Joseph Morrissey, Le Ballet Jazz de Montreal and many more. Chloe has had extensive performance experience and looks forward to continuing to pursue performance for many years to come

What is your dance background?

I’ve been dancing for 13 years. I received my early training from the Dance Institute housed within the University of Akron all the way up through high school and graduated in the spring of 2017 from the advanced ballet level.

How would you describe your overall experience with the UA Dance Program?

It’s been wonderful. I’m beyond grateful for the experiences, friendships and professional connections I have made thanks to the program.

Is there anything about your piece in We Dance On that you would like readers to know?

The sound score is stagnant yet ever changing, unrecognizable but familiar like many instances in life. Unexpected but needed for progression.

Where do you see yourself after graduating?

I have been accepted into the Arts Administration program at The University of Akron and will be pursing my MA this coming spring whilst looking for performance opportunities as well.
 



Lydia Marshall

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Degree:

Dance Major

About Lydia:

Lydia Marshall has been dancing since she was just three years old. She danced competitively for many years, and she decided to turn her love of dance into her future by becoming a Dance Major at the University of Akron. In her college career she has performed in concerts with the Youngstown State University Dance Ensemble, The Lindsay Renea Dance Theatre, and the University of Akron Dance Company. Outside of the dance program, she is a dedicated member of the University of Akron Dance Team. Lydia is also a staff member with AmeriDance, requiring her to travel the East Coast and teach her original choreography to high school dance teams. Upon completion of her degree, Lydia plans to share her love of dance with the next generation by becoming a teacher. In the spring, Lydia will be starting a certificate program at New York University in order to continue her study of careers in the performing arts. 

What is your dance background?

I have been dancing since I was three years old. I did competition dance for the majority of my early training. When I was a senior in high school I also began taking dance classes at Youngstown State University through the College Credit Plus program. Upon coming to the University of Akron I have performed with the University of Akron Dance Company every semester as well as being a member of the University of Akron Dance Team.

How would you describe your overall experience with the UA Dance Program?

I have loved every moment of my time at the University of Akron. Coming to Akron has helped me realize the path I want my future career in dance to take. Through the university’s extensive network I have had the opportunity to work with so many impressive individuals in the dance world, as well as prestigious dance companies from all over the country. There are faculty members in the dance program who have made a huge impact on my life. They have made me feel like the future I envision for myself in the dance world is as achievable as it will be rewarding.

What is a work, performance, or artist that has impacted you and your work?

My work is heavily inspired by the people in my life who aren’t in the dance world. I believe looking outside of the dance world for inspiration is a helpful way to inform creative decisions, as it does not leave you with limited restrictions and ideas about what dance can me. I am also heavily inspired by critical theory and the role it plays in culture.

Is there anything about your piece in We Dance On that you would like readers to know?

My piece “No Favors” is a reflection of every woman who has ever helped me succeed and every woman has ever helped me to feel empowered.

Where do you see yourself after graduating?

After graduation I will be taking part in a certificate program through New York University to expand my education on careers in the performing arts. I plan to pursue a performance career by auditioning for professional dance teams. My ultimate goal has always been to pass on my love of dance to others, so I plan on opening my own dance studio and obtaining a Masters Degree in dance pedagogy.


Tiffany Campbell

 2020 Graduating Dance Major

 Degree

 Bachelor of Arts in Dance with Business Cognate

 How do you plan to engage in the field of dance in     the years after graduation?

   After graduating this spring, I will be engaging in the field of dance by pursuing a career in arts administration; my goal is to work for a dance company in a business or administration role. I also would love any opportunity to advocate for the importance of arts in our lives. This could entail inspiring others through teaching, outreach, presentations, and other informative ways for people to understand the purpose of the arts

Best memory working with UA Dance:

   One of my favorite memories while being a student at the University of Akron is being a student assistant for three years at The University of Akron’s pre-professional program The Dance Institute. I loved working with and teaching the students and learning the business areas of dance at the office and the managerial aspects of organizing and holding a show. I will also have very fond memories of the people I have met, friends I have made, classes I have taken, and performances I have danced in at The University of Akron for the rest of my life.

Photo Credit: Dale Dong

 



Natalie Minns

NatalieMinns

2020 Graduating Dance Major

Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Dance with Business Cognate

How do you plan to engage in the field of dance in the years after graduation?

   I plan to eventually move to the west coast to dance and perform and eventually obtain my MBA.

Best memory working with UA Dance:

 One of my best memories at UA would have to be the performances! Our family grows so close during show week, and so many memories are made in Daum Theatre!
                                                                     


Skyler Bortz

Skyler Bortz

 2020 Graduating Dance Major

Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Dance with Business Cognate & Bachelors of Arts in Psychology

 How do you plan to engage in the field of dance in     the years after graduation?   

I will be continuing to teach dance as it is a passion of mine.

Best memory working with UA Dance:

  

One of my best memories is being backstage with everyone getting ready for a show and feeling the excitement and anticipation of performing.

 



Amanda Kindt

Amanda Kindt

 2020 Graduating Dance Major

 Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

 How do you plan to engage in the field of dance in     the years after graduation?   

I have been auditioning this spring semester in hopes of joining a Ballet Company or a dance position with a cruise line after graduation. As things are up in the air with this pandemic, my audition schedule got cut short. However I am optimistic towards the future that I will land a performance job as that is my goal upon graduation. I also may end up teaching dance as that is more of a long term goal, after performing for as long as I can.

Best memory working with UA Dance:

I loved being backstage before a show. You can feel the excitement in the air, especially before opening night. All the dancers would either be running between dressing rooms, singing really loudly, warming up, finishing their makeup and hair, or putting on their costume. It was practically chaos but everyone was always so supportive and would cheer each other on once you got on stage. It was a real family back there.

 



UA Dance Student Showcased at The International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference

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Marisa Huguley

Congratulations to UA Dance major Marisa Huguley who was accepted into the collegiate showcase at the The International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference! She is attending the 32nd Annual IABD this week in Philadelphia.

Marisa has been interested in dance since the age of 5. She has suffered two ACL injuries at different points in her life, causing her to take time off from dancing to recover, and it was during those breaks from dancing that she found her passion for choreography. During high school, she won an award for Artistic Excellence for a piece she choreographed.

After high school, Marisa attended Temple University to study dance. In 2018, she had works featured in both spring and fall student choreography showcases at Temple. During this year she also went through a pregnancy. As a young mom, Marisa was only more determined to chase her dreams in the dance world. She decided to continue her dance studies at UA because of the intensity of the dance program and Akron’s proximity to her family.

Marisa is excited to attend IABD in Philadelphia. She feels that her intensive dance training at UA has prepared her for this experience and she looks forward to being surrounded by likeminded individuals of different cultures.

We are so proud of you, Marisa!


Student Focuses

Courtney Goebel - Athletic Trainer

Courtney Goebel

Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer

Major: Exercise Physiology Graduate Degree

What is your official title here at the University?
My official title at the University is Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer.

What has been your educational background? Where did you study? Do you have any previous experience with dance in particular?
I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the University at Akron and, currently am in the Exercise Physiology Graduate program. During my time in Akron as a student I worked with track and field/cross country, softball, women’s swim and dive, woman’s basketball, Walsh Jesuits High School, and the Crystal Clinic. I grew up watching my younger sister dance and helped with props, tickets, and other tasks during recital time. I am super excited to be a part of the dance world again.

What have you learned in working with dancers specifically?
Dancers bring different types of injuries into the athletic training room compared to athletes. Their injuries tend to be more chronic injuries compared to acute injuries. Examples of common chronic injuries would be patella tendonitis, Achille’s tendonitis, and stress fractures.

What particular challenges do dancers face?
The biggest challenges dancers face is the business of the dance world. Some days it feels like the dancing never really stops. Many of the dancers I work with also dance with local companies, teaching in studios, are on the dance team, and in performances such as UADC -- on top of required dance classes.

What work do you often do with the dancers here at UA?
I provide multiple services for the dancers here at UA. I evaluate and diagnosis injuries, rehabilitation of injuries, preventive measures such as taping or stretching, and provide referrals to area doctors.

What advice would you give dancers to stay healthy? What exercises do you think are the best?
My advice to dancers is to use your resources. Here at the University, I work closely with closely with Akron Children’s Hospital. Their physical therapy department and doctors do tremendous work with not only the University dancers, but other area dancers as well. So the moment anything doesn’t feel right don’t hesitate to get it checked out! It is a common misconception that it will just go away one its own. It’s hard to pick just one exercise; any exercise that strengthens the hips is ideal. Examples are squats, lunges, yoga, and Pilates. 

Kelsey Harkness_web

Kelsey Harkness

Hometown: Canton, OH

Major: B.F.A. Dance
Minor: Business

Graduating year: 2018 

What is your dance background?

I took my first jazz class when I was 11 years old and from there I joined the competition team at my studio where I competed in groups, trios, duets, and solos. I was an assistant teacher for two years and that was the time that I realized that I love teaching and wanted to continue in the future.

You're in a unique position as you already own your own dance studio and will be able to fully focus on that directly after graduation. How did this come about, and were there any particular moments or opportunities in the UA dance program that has or will help shape your long-term goals and vision for the studio?

I taught at a competitive dance studio for two years before starting my own in September of 2017. This was a great stepping stone because I loved what I was doing but wanted to be more involved in the decision making process. I have had a lot of help and support from my family in making this dream come true. There have not been any particular moments that helped me open the studio, but I have taken everything that I have learned from class and company residencies and applied them to the way I teach and choreograph now. I do not think I would be as successful if I did not go through the UA dance program.

What opportunities do you think our dance program has afforded you professionally?

The dance pedagogy classes have given me more experience with teaching from ages preschool to high school. I had the opportunity to go to Firestone High School and teach yoga to a class of high school athletes. This is definitely something I want to do again in the future for sports teams at local high schools.

How has your overall experience with the UA dance program been, and what part do you value most from your time here?

I have learned so much from my time in the UA dance program. The part I value the most is all of the experience and new ideas that I have gotten from taking dance classes every day. My dance technique has improved significantly and I am so glad that I get to leave UA as a better dancer which will make me a much better teacher for my students.

What interested you in coming to the UA for dance?

UA is close to my home and I knew that the dance program was very good. I did not know that we have the opportunity to take classes from professional companies until my first semester here. It is so beneficial to be immersed in their company for a week even if you do not want to be a professional dancer, like myself. I have seen so many professional dancers and choreographers and have learned so many new ideas from them that I can translate to when I teach.

What is the most common question you get asked as a dancer?

“Why don’t you ever wear your hair down?”
I actually love having my hair up in a bun even if I don’t have dance that day. It’s just easier when you have so much hair and have perfected the ballet bun!

Where do you see yourself after graduating?

I plan to get a yoga certification as well as continue to grow my dance studio in hopes of gaining more students and eventually moving to a bigger space. Another goal is to attend conferences and workshops periodically to keep up with what is happening in the dance world.

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Amanda Kindt

Hometown: Lititz, Pennsylvania

Major: B.F.A. Dance

Graduating year: 2020 

What/who inspired you to pursue Dance?

I saw a dance recital of a friend when I was five years old, and at the time I was doing gymnastics. I immediately fell in love with their movements and the costumes. When my family and I moved, we looked for a dance studio and I found my future at my home studio, Lititz Academy of Dance. The teachers there cultivated my love for the art form and encouraged me to keep it going with my higher education.

What would you say was the best life lesson you've learned so far through UA Dance?

Never take anything for granted. If you truly want something, you have to work super hard for it. I learned this during my first semester of freshman year in ballet when I was told that I wasn’t quite ready to move up. However, I pushed myself and I eventually made it.

Is there a favorite style of dance that you prefer?

I have always loved classical ballet. It’s really difficult to make all of the moves look so effortless, but I welcome the challenge. Plus, the tutus are pretty great.

Share with us your career goals:

I plan to audition for the B.F.A degree this spring, and then I will pursue my dream job of a contemporary ballet company. After that, I will either teach at a dance studio/conservatory or pursue my Master’s to teach at the University level. Any which way, I’ll always continue to dance.

Is cereal soup?

NO! Soup is hot and only for dinner, cereal is cold and for breakfast or dinner!

Lily Adams

Lily Marie Adams

Senior

Class of 2019

Major: Dance 

Q: What/who influenced you to attend the University of Akron for Dance?

A: I chose to attend the University of Akron by a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit the campus on my way home from a tour at Kent State…..Go Zips! I actually did not even know that UA had a dance program at the time (my mom knew; she was really on top of the college research!), so I was reluctant to stop. It was toward the end of the day and we were tired, but we parked and made our way into Guzzetta Hall with open minds! Our Administrative Assistant, Frances Donatelli, was on her way out of the office for the day, but she so kindly welcomed us in and sat us down to tell us all about the dance program and the university. After that, I was sold! From that moment on, I have felt at home at UA and have been so thankful for that random stop on our way home. 

Q: If you could pick your dream job, what would it be?

A: My dream job is actually what I am on track to do- own a dance studio! I have been in love with the idea of teaching dance since I was very young, and there was really nothing else I could ever see myself doing. Being able to foster students' talents and passions is such a rewarding profession to be involved in. However, if I had to choose something else, I think it would be amazingly fun to perform as a character at Walt Disney World!

 

Q: What is your favorite UA Dance performance thus far? Why?

A: My favorite UA Dance performance has to be Spring Into Dance 2017. It was such a fun show to be involved in; there were 13 pieces of all different styles! A UA alumnus, Aaron Knowles, choreographed the piece I was in and it was a high-energy, emotional, and impactful piece that I will surely never forget.

 

Q: Share with us your greatest dance accomplishment:

A: My greatest dance accomplishment probably has to be all I have accomplished at UA. I have had classical ballet training since age 3, but ballet is the only style I had ever danced. When coming to UA, it was apparent that I would need to become a more diverse dancer! Since starting as a student here, I have taken modern dance, jazz, tap, contemporary, and even African dance! It was definitely difficult to push myself out of my comfort zone at first, but now as a Junior who feels well versed in many styles of dance, I am very glad I did!

 

Q: If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

A: The rudest animal would probably be cats (even though they are my favorite animal)! You can tell they are silently judging everything you do. If they could speak English, I’m sure they would not be able to hold their tongues.

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Jessica Doughty

Senior

Class of 2018

Major: Dance 

Q: How did you hear about UA Dance prior to attending The University of Akron? 

A: I was actually a transfer student. I found out UA had a dance program from word of mouth and online research of dance programs in Ohio. I also knew a girl who graduated high school the same year as I who was involved in the program. I asked her a few questions, and she had nothing to say but good things. I had a visit during the summer of 2015 and began my second year of college at UA that fall. It has been like home to me ever since!

 

Q: If you could get lunch with any dance celebrity, whom would it be with? Why?

A: Tough question. We just had Koresh in residency a little over a month ago, and during that time we ate lunch with company members every day. How do you beat that? Having lunch with Roni Koresh himself would be my choice. His company's performance at EJ was the best dance performance I have seen in person. He is such a brilliant choreographer. I would love to sit down with him to discuss in depth about his process and meaning of some of his work. 

 

Q: Share with us your favorite dance move!

A: Anything modern or sassy!

 

Q: Where do you see yourself taking your Dance experiences to after UA?

A: If an opportunity to perform comes, I would take it. I could see myself performing for a small modern company. I also love teaching and choreographing-who knows where those things will take me. My real goal with dance is to bring it to children who would normally not have the opportunity to take classes or experience it. I would love to bring dance into children's hospitals, public schools, and provide opportunities for inner-city kids. 

 

Q: What mythical creature would improve the world if it existed? 

A: All of my little dancers LOVE unicorns-so I guess unicorns would improve the world... for them at least! 

 



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Kayla Chilcote

Senior

Class of 2018

Major: Dance Performance

Minors: Business and Child Development

Q: Why did you choose to pursue Dance at the University of Akron?
A: For their dance program and how Akron had the option and opportunities to coincide with business.  Also, all of the performing opportunities, as well as chances to choreograph. Akron is very fortunate to be able to have residencies and guest artists; especially now with the new National Center for Choreography. 
 
 
Q: Where do you see yourself after graduation? 
A: After Graduation I see myself auditioning everywhere! I would love to dance for Disney for at least a year before I continue with the process of opening my own dance studio!  I will also be getting married after graduation, so a lot to look forward to. 
 
 
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to an incoming freshman majoring in dance here at UA, what would you tell him/her?
A: Get involved- not just with the campus in general, but with the dance program.  Coming in can be very overwhelming to some people. Audition for everything. Sit in the dance lounge because everyone is always talking and having a good time. 
 
 
Q: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
A: Probably Walt Disney himself because I love Disney and his company. His quote: "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" describes me very well because I am constantly challenging myself and wanting to prove that certain things can be done. 
 
 
Q: What is the most common question you get asked as a dancer? 
A: What do you want to do with your degree? or Do you get to do a cool show? 

Kweku Bransah

Senior
Class of 2017
Major: BA in Dance Studies with a Business Cognate

Q: Why did you decide to pursue dance at The University of Akron?
A: I decided to pursue dance at The University of Akron because I wanted to improve my limited technique in modern and ballet. The dance program allowed me to develop and improve my techniques by taking multiple classes every day.

Q: How has your overall experience with the UA Dance program been?
A: My experience with the dance program has been great. I am surrounded by a supportive dance student community that shares ideas and concepts with one another to improve and grow creatively. The faculty and guest choreographers are very creative and each has their own way of teaching. This provides a chance for me to become an artist on stage and individually express myself while supporting the choreographers' visions.

Q: I heard this semester you have been working with guest resident dance company, Verb Ballets, at UA! What has your experience been like?
A: Working with Verb Ballets has been a good experience for me. The work called "Bolero" for Heinz Poll Tribute has been a challenge for me because the sequence of movements varies slightly with each repeated phrase; it requires focus and concentration to remember where you are in the music and dance. I feel it's good for dancers to be challenged in this way.

Q: What do you see yourself doing after graduation?
A: After graduation I would like to be a part of a modern or contemporary dance company for a few years while I am young and full of energy. Then I plan on moving to backup dancing for well-known celebrities. Also, I would like to be involved in a dance outreach program to bring joy to others.

Q: What advice do you want to give to future UA dance students?
A: The advice I have for future dance students is to truly follow your heart, embrace your style, and take risks! The way you dance is what makes you, YOU. It is nice to imitate others, but what makes you different and keeps your creativity going is dancing for yourself. Also, progress does not come without a process!

Erica Piper

'En pointe' for career in dance

Erica Piper was the student speaker at the Summer 2015 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. She graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Dance Education.

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University of Akron dance program student

Dance Student's work selected for MLK celebration

Leah Anthony was selected to present her original dance piece Against Madness at MLK Activities Fair as part of the Rethinking Race series at The University of Akron.