2013 ACDFA South Conference

Jackson, MS
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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2013 ACDFA South Conference
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - Saturday, March 16, 2013

Belhaven University
Dance Dept.
1500 Peachtree St Box 170
Jackson, MS 39202

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General Information and Updates     
Conference Adjudicators      
Special Guests      
Adjudication Information & Policies     
Informal Concert Information    
Historical Works    
Conference Schedules    
Form & Waiver Information    

Conference Information Section
Information that changes throughout the conference will be posted here.

This section contains information pertaining to conference scheduling, guidelines, the Belhaven campus, traveling around Jackson, and hospitality options.  Please refer to this section throughout the conference to ensure you are up-to-date on all conference happenings.

Schedules and Class Information
Conference Schedule
Adjudicated Concert Tech and Performance Schedules
Informal Concert Schedules
Teacher Bios and Class Descriptions

Adjudication Concert Programs (updated with choreographers' status)
Program-Adjudicated Concert A
Program-Adjudicated Concert B
Program-Adjudicated Concert C

Conference Information and Guidelines

Campus Welcome Letter

City of Jackson Mayor Welcome Letter
General Information Sheet
List of Attending Schools
ACDFA Mission Statement
ACDFA History

Travel and Hospitality Information
Belhaven Campus Map
Driving Directions to Off-Campus Locations

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Link to Hospitality Map with nearby Restaurants, Grocery Stores, and Gas Stations:

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Belhaven University cordially invites you and your students to participate in the American College Dance Festival Association's South Conference, March 13-16, 2013, in Jackson, MS.  We are planning an exciting agenda for our conference titled "Southern Happenings" celebrating the ACDFA 40th year Anniversary.  This agenda includes master classes, opportunities for student and faculty exchanges outside of the studio, improv jams or "happenings," and many other stimulating art-filled experiences related to the field of dance.  Additionally, special faculty classes, seminars, panel discussions, and workshops have been planned; we are enthusiastic about these times for exchange as well.  We have arranged to have three dynamic and highly respected dance professionals as our adjudicators:  Steve Rooks, former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Company; Bill Wade of Inlet Dance Theater; and Rachael Leonard of Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre.

We anticipate an enthusiastic response to our conference and our space is limited.  Our maximum capacity is 450 registrants and 36 adjudicated dances to be enjoyed in three concerts.  We will register participants on a first paid-first registered basis.  To hold your registration and adjudication slots, proof of intention to pay (either a check, P.O. number, or faxed request of payment) must be received within two weeks of your registration.  When we reached maximum capacity (possibly well before the posted deadline), we will be unable to accept additional participants.  Please plan to register early.

To celebrate ACDFA's 40th Anniversary, as well as a taste of what Jackson has to offer, we plan to hold a Friday night party and final Saturday "happening" rather than a gala concert.  The Friday night party will take place at the interactive, inspirational Mississippi Children's Museum on March 15th and will include food, music, and a whole lot of fun.  The Saturday final "happening" will take place during the afternoon of March 16th and will include music, site-specific dance, improv jams, and much more.  These events promises to be filled with fun and innovative exchanges for all involved.

Information for payment is located in the right sidebar.  Deadlines, fees, registration and membership policies, registration instructions can be found under the Conference Details tab on this website.  You need not be an ACDFA member to attend the conference, although only institutional members may participate in the adjudication process.  Additionally, members pay a discounted registration fee.  If you have not yet joined ACDFA, we urge you to do so to help further the important work we do for college and university dance programs.

ACDFA values diversity and maintains a commitment to the development of conferences which reflect and give value to the various forms, styles, cultural traditions and aesthetic dimensions of dance in performance.  We encourage the attention to diversity within informal and formally adjudicated concerts, master classes and panel discussions and/or lectures.  We would like to encourage all institutions to attend and participate in the full array of scheduled events, whether or not you are planning to present choreography for adjudication.  The experience of taking master classes, viewing concerts, and listening to adjudicators' comments, as well as the energy exchange among dancers and faculty from other schools, has proven invaluable for our students, regardless of their levels of dance experience.
A great deal of initial planning for our South Conference has already occurred.  If you would like to participate, please register online once registration opens and send in payment or proof of intention to pay within two weeks and full payment by our deadline of December 1.  It is critical that you adhere to the above deadlines to reserve your registration spots.  Our conference may be full prior to December 1.
If you are interested in the adjudication process, please refer to the Adjudication Policies.  If you choose to adjudicate two pieces, at least one piece must be choreographed by a student.  Time and space will limit the number of dances we can adjudicate.  Pieces will be accepted for adjudication, like registration, on a first paid, first accepted basis.  Please remember that you must be an ACDFA institutional member in good standing to qualify for adjudication.

For those of you who will be first-time visitors to our area, Belhaven University is located a few miles away from downtown Jackson, "City with Soul."  Cultural aspects of the city are evident through its notable Blues style of music and southern home cookin' restaurants as well as historic elements seen in its antebellum architecture or via a Civil Rights Movement tour.  You can visit www.visitjackon.com/ for further information about Jackson's unique offerings.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Cynthia Newland
Conference Coordinator
ACDFA South Conference

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   Rachael McClellan Leonard was born and raised in Massachusetts.  She received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and is in current pursuit of her MFA in Dance Choreography at Jacksonville University/White Oak as the recipient of the Howard Gilman Fellowship.  Rachael is co-founder and Artistic Director of Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre in Volusia County, Florida where she has been awarded multiple corporate and governmental grants and developed over 60 original dance works.  In addition, she has choreographed for companies and college dance ensembles throughout the U.S. and as a residing guest, has taught dance at Rowland Hall Saint Marks School, Lowell Elementary School, College of Southern Utah, University of Utah, Alma College, Jacksonville University, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Carolina Strut Dance Arts Centre, LaVilla School of the Arts, Florida School for Dance Education, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.  She was a company member with Dance Performance Project and Pioneer Valley Ballet in Massachusetts and was a soloist with Figure Five Dance and a guest performer with CDT in Salt Lake City.  Rachael has had the opportunity to train with many influential dance artists while training and attending workshops at Boston Ballet, Green Street Studio, ODC, Shawl Anderson Dance Center, North Carolina School of the Arts, NYU Tisch, Jacob's Pillow, Atlantic Center for the Arts, White Oak, ACDFA Conferences, and the  Departments of Ballet and Modern Dance at the University of Utah.  In addition to teaching master workshops and directing SCDT, Rachael instructs Yoga, Pilates, and group exercise classes and serves as the Vice-President of the Board of the Volusia County Cultural Alliance as an advocate for the arts.  She lives in Port Orange, Florida with her husband and two children.
   Steve Rooks began his dance training in Washington D.C. with Jan Van Dyke and Greg Reynolds, after graduating with honors from Dartmouth College.  He continued his training in New York City as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.  Mr. Rooks has danced and toured with the Greg Reynolds Dance Quintet, the Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Peter Sparling, Dancer's Eye, and Ailey II, where he performed classic works by Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, and Ulysses Dove.  He joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in the summer of 1981, and was a Principal Dancer with the company until 1991.  He was the recipient of a Vassar Research Grant for an Artist Residency in Riga, Latvia in May 2002, and a 2004 winner of the Sixth Annual National Choreographic Competition sponsored by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.  He has served twice as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival.  Mr. Rooks is currently Resident Choreographer and Chair of Dance at Vassar College, and was a founding faculty member of the Dance Degree Program at Howard University.  He is also a Guest Instructor at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Schools of Dance.  He was a 2001 Artist-in-Residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and has been a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.  Mr. Rooks has taught internationally at several dance festivals and as a guest instructor for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Florida Dance Masters, the Masterworks Festival, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, the American Academy of Ballet, the Houston Ballet, and the Symposium on Dance at Yale University.  Mr. Rooks would like to thank Jesus Christ for all that has happened to him.

   Bill Wade, recipient of the 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize, is the Founding Executive/Artistic Director of Inlet Dance Theatre, which is an outgrowth of his previous eleven years as an Artist in Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts, where he founded the YARD (Youth At Risk Dancing), a nationally recognized and awarded after-school program.  In 1998, he received the Coming Up Taller Award at the White House in Washington D.C. from the National Endowment for the Arts and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.  His company, Inlet Dance Theatre, conducted a two-week residency of performing and teaching on the island in April of 2008.  He has enjoyed a long-term mentoring relationship with Alison Chase, co-artistic director of the world renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater.  Alison Chase collaborated with Bill and students from Cleveland School of the Arts, creating "An Urban Nutcracker," which received national attention from DanceMagazine, TIME Magazine, and garnered a rave review in the Wall St. Journal.  His work has appeared in theaters, on television, at schools, in newspapers, and even in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.  Bill set choreography on Ad Deum Dance Company (Houston, Texas), New Trails Dance Theatre (Oakland, California), taught and set choreography on dancers at Youth With a Mission (Lakeside, Montana) and on dancers at Belhaven University (Jackson, MS).  Prior to founding both Inlet Dance Theatre and the YARD, Mr. Wade was formerly the interim artistic director and dancer with Footpath Dance Company.


Michael Bishop, a native of Gulfport, Ms, started his training at age 21 with Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. While training, he danced professionally with Talk Dance Co. under the artistic direction of Stephen Wynne. In 2010, Michael toured Russia with Talk Dance Co. under the Messiah Project and in that same year Michael served as an assistant to choreographer, Christopher Caines, during the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Michael received his B.F.A in dance from Belhaven University and was awarded the Bezalel award for outstanding artistic achievement for his senior class in 2011.  Since graduating, Michael has worked with David Gordon’s company, Pick Up Performances, participating in his production of Dancing Henry Five, and Deeply Rooted Dance Production, performing in the fall season of Chicago Woman of Song. Michael is presently performing with the West Side Story European Tour 2012-2014.  Along with performing, he has a huge passion for choreography. Michael has choreographed for Long Island Dance Project in Long Island, NY and The Edge School of the Arts in Queens, NY for the NAACP taking first place in the national competition. He is presently co-choreographing along with his former director, Stephen Wynne, a contemporary version of Swan Lake for the Sangre de Cristo School of Dance in Pueblo, CO.

Randall Flinn began his dance training in Houston over twenty five years ago with Glenn Hunsucker, Camille Long Hill, Dina Vail and Patsy Swayze. His most recent modern dance influences have come from studies with The Limon Company and Steve Rooks, former principal dancer with Martha Graham. He has taught and choreographed locally as a guest artist for the Houston Ballet Academy, The Episcopal High School, Houston Met Dance Company, Joan Karff Dance Company, The High School for Performing Arts and North Harris Performing Arts Dance Company.  He was selected as a guest choreographer for Houston's Dance Salad 1999, Dance Houston 2006, and Texas Weekend of Contemporary Dance 2007. Nationally, he has served as guest faculty and choreographer for Cirque Du Soleil-Alegria, Ballet Magnificat, Belhaven University, Friends University, Project Dance NYC, LA, and Sydney, Australia, as well as Hillsong and Dance Revolution Conventions.  Having lived throughout Europe and Asia for ten years, Mr. Flinn has also been a guest artist for Hong Kong Ballet, City Contemporary – Hong Kong, Guanzhou Modern Dance Company – China, Xaris Danz Europe and Youth With a Mission International Schools of the Arts.

Anuradha Murali, Artistic Director of Mrudani School of Performing Arts, had formal training in Bharanthanatyam from Radha Srinivassan and Shanta and VP Dhananjayan (India) and Adyar K. Lakshman (India).  She has also received formal training in Kuchipudi by P. Rajeshwari and Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam, Kuchipudi Art Academy, (India).  As an Adjunct Professor of Dance, Anuradha has taught Bharanthanatyam and Kuchipudi at Columbia College, Columbia, SC.  As an Instructor of Dance, she has taught Bharanthanatyam at the University of South Carolina, Dance Department.  Anuradha, a recipient of numerous grants/awards for dance choreography, has performed at prestigious national and international festivals.

Shani Sterling, a native of Houston Texas and a graduate of The High School for Performing and Visual Arts, believes that “movement expresses what words sometimes cannot.”  She holds a B.S. in dance from Lamar University (Summa Cum Laude) in addition to a M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University.  She has studied at The Houston Ballet Academy, The Alvin Ailey School in New York, and Jacob’s Pillow (Dunham Tribute) among other places.  She is also a Fulbright Scholar having lived in Ghana West Africa 2006-2007 where she worked with The National Dance Company of Ghana as well as The Saakumu Dance Troupe.  She is currently on faculty at Houston Community College.

All institutional members are invited to bring up to two dances for adjudication while adjudication slots remain available.  Please read the Adjudication Policies carefully.  Policies are available to download and are included under the Conference Details tab on this website.
You will be able to indicate whether you are bringing one or two dances in the "Adjudication Fees" section in the online registration.
If you are not an institutional member and would like to participate in the adjudication process, you must begin the process of becoming an Institutional Member before registering to adjudicate work.  A membership application is available on the ACDFA website.
Please download Adjudication Policies for your reference.

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All groups and individuals registered for the conference are eligible to perform in the Informal Concerts.
Dances presented in the Informal Concerts are restricted to work not being adjudicated.  Works-in-progress may be shown.
In the interest of creating opportunities for many schools, only one dance per institution may be shown in the informal concerts; however, more than one piece per school will be considered if space allows.  Performance slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  The maximum time for each work presented in the Informal Concert is 12 minutes.  The burden of meeting the time requirement rests with the choreographer.  ACDFA recommends that the choreographer allow a time margin within the 12-minute limit for technical errors or theater peculiarities.

The informal concerts will take place in the concert hall of Belhaven University's Center for the Arts.  The concert hall is a proscenium space that seats approximately 800 people.  The stage floor is wood and there is minimal access and space in stage right and hall access to stage left.  We will not use a main drape during the informal concerts.
A sound recording of concert quality must be provided by the choreographer in the format specified by the Conference Coordinator.

For more information on the technical aspects of the Informal Concerts, please click here.
Please submit Informal Concert program information online by Jan. 25, 2013.

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To celebrate ACDFA's 40th Anniversary, we would like to honor dance throughout the years. As a part of our closing night "happening," we seek to include remounted historical works. These works will take place in informal settings (a lawn, solarium, etc.) and will not have typical theatrical elements (i.e. stage lighting) available.  

There will be no additional charge for bringing a remounted historical work to the conference. You will have the opportunity to indicate your interest in bringing a remounted historical work to the South Conference in the registration pages.
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SCHEDULE (subject to change)

The conference will officially begin on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 and will conclude on Saturday, March 16.  Registration will officially open on Tuesday, March 12 from 7:00p through 9:00pm and will resume at 8:00am on Wednesday, March 13.

           Please click on the below link to open the appropriate schedule:
        Conference Schedule
        Class Descriptions & Teacher Bios
        Adjudicated Concerts Tech and Performance Schedules
        Informal Concerts Schedules
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    FORMS TO BE SUBMITTED ONLINE (under "Online Forms" in the registration pages):
It is not necessary to submit all information online at the time of your initial registration for the conference.  You may return to your registration to add or update information. 

Please honor all posted deadlines for information submission.
Submit Program Information for each dance you are adjudicating and/or presenting in the informal concert.  Please be thorough in your answers and accurate in your spelling.
Deadline for completed program information is January 25, 2013.
The Adjudication Program Information Form will be visible only to the Faculty Representative for ACDFA Institutional Members and ACDFA Board Members.

The Informal Concert Program Information Form will be visible to the Faculty Representative for ACDFA Institutional Members and Non-Members, ACDFA Board Members and Individual registrants.
Teachers are encouraged to propose classes/workshops, research presentations and panel topics to enhance diversity and the breath of class offerings.
The online Teacher Interest Form allows faculty members and graduate students to submit up to three different classes/workshops, research presentations and/or panels.  The conference may not be able to involve all who are interested, but we appreciate your response and will contact teachers as soon as possible regarding selections.  Due to budget constraints, honoraria will not be possible.
            PLEASE NOTE:
The Teacher Interest Form will be visible to all faculty members registrants.
           Deadline for submission is November 11, 2012.


ACDFA is – by definition – a national membership service organization to strengthen the educational network for students and faculty within the academic setting.

Faculty (ACDFA members only) who are teaching or presenting at the conference may request a written peer review when registering.  Faculty interested in serving as reviewers will be able to offer their services when registering.

Note: ACDFA will make every attempt to accommodate requests but cannot guarantee that all requests will be fulfilled.

We invite your most skilled musicians to participate in the conference, accompanying classes in exchange for conference registration and an honorarium of $40.00 per class.  Interaction among musicians will help to make very memorable master classes. Sharing good music gives us new ideas to take home to our own programs and adds vitality to classes.

In addition to musician participation in master classes, we are exploring the possibility of incorporating a conference-wide improv jam in our schedule.  If your musician is interested in participating in the improv jam, please indicate that interest when completing the online form.
            Musicians should complete the online form.  The form is visible only to those registering as Musicians.

            Deadline for submission is November 11, 2012.

There will be an opportunity for students to present research. Each presentation is limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. The Faculty Representative may submit information on behalf of the student(s).  Faculty Representative, to submit information on behalf of your student(s), please see the above section "Teacher Interest" and follow the guidelines listed.


Each conference participant must sign onto the Liability Waiver.  In order to save paper, we are asking all registrants in a group to sign one waiver.  It is important that each registrant understands the terms of the waiver.  Faculty are strongly encouraged to review the terms with all participants.
Return the Liability Waiver via FAX or postal service.
Each choreographer or representative of a choreographer (for a guest choreographer) of a dance to be performed in the adjudicated concerts must complete and return a signed Video Waiver.  Please note that videos are for archival purposed and copies will not be available.

Return the Video Waiver via FAX or postal service.


Contact Information

  • Conference Coordinator: 
              Cynthia Newland
    Conference Assistant: 
              Kristen Cooperkline
    Email:  acdfasouth@belhaven.edu
    Phone:  (601) 965-1405
    Fax:      (601) 965-1424

Payment Instructions

  • We are accepting checks, purchase orders and credit card payments.

    All checks and purchase orders should be payable to "Belhaven University" with "ACDFA Registration" listed on the memo line.

    Send payment to:
    Belhaven University
    Department of Dance
    c/o Kristen Cooperkline
    1500 Peachtree St. Box 170
    Jackson, Mississippi 39202

    Belhaven University's Federal ID # is 640303069

    To pay by credit card, elect "plastic" as your payment choice when completing registration.  After registering, note the total payment due and return here to pay via credit card.  Please click here.

ACDFA gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors:
ACDFA Lifetime Members: Judy Allen, Jean Baxter, Jeanne Beaman, B.J. Bray, Lori Bryhni, Mary Cochran, Mary-Jean Cowell, Abby Fiat, Barry Fischer, Lonny Gordon, Luke Kahlich, Joanne Lawrence, Paula Levine, Rhythm McCarthy, Ann Sanders, Russell Sandifer, Brent Schneider, Dorothy Silver (deceased), Jan Simonds, and Alcine Wiltz.