By Hazel Scott/ASU
Alabama State University’s BFA in Dance Program in the Department of Theatre Arts has partnered with The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) to present a two-day virtual dance workshop, EVOLVE | Montgomery, an IABD dance experience.
The paid event is scheduled for Friday, April 25, from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. CDT, and Sunday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT.
Attendees will experience master classes, symposia and opportunities to demonstrate their talent over the two-day time frame.
This is a brand-new partnership. EVOLVE has been in existence with IABD, but this is the first time that the International Association of Blacks in Dance will partner with Alabama State University. So, we are very excited about that and the opportunity that is being afforded to our students,” said James R. Atkinson Jr., ASU director of Dance.
Atkinson pointed out that the summit presents world-renowned dance faculty and celebrated instructors who work professionally in various aspects of the industry.
“Dancers are able to choose from a variety of genres to aid in their well-rounded approach to artistry. The symposium will have different styles of dancing, including band, Stingette, cheerleading and African-American dancing,” Atkinson said. “We also will have panel discussions.”
The symposium is open to dancers, incoming freshmen, current students and their parents, dance studios, cheerleaders, dance teams and dance organizations on campus.
Event participants include Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Ronald Brown (founder of Evidence dance company), Danelle Morgan (Radio City Rockette), ASU’s BFA program alums Teyawnna Lawson (professional dancer) and Asia Naché Martin (a former Stingette and founder of The Believe in Your Legendary Scholarship) and several Jazz companies.
Attendees can join lectures such as “Beyond the Yard: Careers in the Dance Industry,” “Same Skills, Different Dance” and a “Hip-Hop Lecture with Rennie Harris,” a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and professor of hip-hop dance.
The weekend culminates with a virtual, paid showcase presentation that is open to the public. Tickets are included in full registration or available for $15.
“The cost for the events is not expensive. They can register for one or two things. They don’t have to register for all of it,” Atkinson said. “Members pay $15 for each event and non-members pay $20 for each event.”
Atkinson noted there will be a free preliminary event, titled Dance & Drum, on Friday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. leading up to the paid events. For more information, visit www.dosabama.com
The program, Atkinson said, was developed specifically with the Montgomery dance community in mind.
“We strongly encourage the ASU community to support this endeavor so that it can continue to happen. It’s really important that we receive some support from the community,” Atkinson added.