Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Friday, March 14, 2014

Gala Concert / 4 Adjudicated Concerts / 2 Informal Concerts 
Master Classes with the Adjudicators and Guest Artists
Research Presentations from Faculty and Students
Dance for the Camera Screening / Dance & Somatic Series
Faculty, Teachers, and Musicians Dinner / Student Dance and Pizza Party
Ancillary Events

Welcome to online ACDFA Regional Conference registration and information.

Information on the American College Dance Festival Association
and membership applications are available at www.acdfa.org .



with baited breath

Columbia College Chicago
Choreographer: Lisa Gonzales (faculty)

Impolite Society

Northwestern University
Choreographer: Jeff Hancock (faculty)


University of Michigan
Choreographers: Maddy Rager and Chris Sies (undergraduate students)

First Alternate

Earth Song

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Choreography: Elander Rosser (undergraduate student)

Second Alternate

War Story 

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Choreographer: Julie Kerr-Berry (faculty)


ACDFA North-Central Region T-shirts and pants are still available to order!  Orders are taken through our sponsor, Ink to the People.

Click HERE to order.

Ordering deadline is Mar. 21st, 2014, and it will be shipped directly to your address.

10:30-12:00pm, Tuesday, March 18th


Gala Concert Selection in Program Order
Gala Concert Tech Schedule
Gala Concert Rehearsal Space

Friday, March 14, 2014 - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

University of Wisconsin / Milwaukee
Department of Dance
Mitchell Hall, Room 345
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
United States

Map and Directions
Click on the links below to navigate through this page:    

General Information and Updates:     
Conference Adjudicators     
Guest Artists     
Ancillary Events     
Adjudication Information & Policies     
Informal Concert Information     


Photo by Jessica Kaminski

The Peck School of the Arts’ Department of Dance welcomes you and your students to the American College Dance Festival Association's North-Central Regional Conference, March 14-18, 2014, at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.  We are planning an exciting celebration of dance in higher education for all participants, including a wide variety of master classes, scholarly research presentations, opportunities for student and faculty exchanges in and out of the studio, an audition opportunity for ADF, adjudication and informal concerts, feedback sessions and a Gala Concert. In additional, special faculty seminars and workshops are being planned, and hope to offer the option of faculty peer evaluation for those of you who will be teaching at the conference.

We invite 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, attending research presentations, 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. ACDFA values diversity and maintains a commitment to the development of conferences that reflect and give value to the various forms, styles, cultural traditions and aesthetic dimensions of dance in performance. We encourage attention to diversity within informal and formally adjudicated concerts, master classes and panel discussions and/or lectures. 

Please read through the website for information about adjudication, guest artists, and other conference details.  For more information about Milwaukee, UW-Milwaukee, and the PSOA Department of Dance, click here.

The UWM Peck School of the Arts’ Department of Dance is very proud to host the ACDFA’s North-Central Regional Conference this year, and we look forward to have you join us!



Simone Ferro    &    Darci Brown Wutz   &    Dan Schuchart
Chair                       Conference Coordinator    Assistant Conference Manager


     Photo by Jessica Kaminski


comes from the desire to explore dance as a conduit – a means of communication, contact and understanding -- between people of different races, countries, ethnic groups, economic power, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political partisanship. It also implies the transcendence of the performance space where dance exists, thus opening new exploratory avenues with no fourth wall, no delimitation between audience and performer – a permeable reality between the two. It suggests communal thinking, acting, reflecting and playing. It surpasses time and space; the power of dance works as a unifying instrument, a ritualistic form of joy, exchange, expression, ecstasy and transformation. The body becomes the language and expands beyond the here and now.

Transcending the boundaries of physical exploration, we are thrilled to share with you the presence of LeeSaar The Company with a Master Class to kick start the conference on late Friday afternoon,
 as well as former Pilobolus company members Edwin Olvera and Andy Herro as Guest Teaching ArtistsIn addition, you have the opportunity to attend  LeeSaar the Company’s powerful performance of Grass and Jackals on Saturday, March 15, at the Pitman Theatre at Alverno College for a special price of $28 (here).  We encourage all conference attendees to explore transcending boundaries via faculty and student proposed presentations, course content, diverse class offerings, Dance on Camera Screening, etc., during the conference.

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The opportunity to receive feedback on choreography and performance is integral to every ACDFA conference.  We have arranged to have three dynamic and highly respected adjudicators: Gerri Houlihan, Gesel Mason, and Bill Wade.   See below for adjudicator bios.

GERRI HOULIHAN began her professional career at the Juilliard School, studying with Antony Tudor, Alfredo Corvino, and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies.  She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and spent five years as a soloist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  Ms. Houlihan has taught or choreographed for such institutions as NY's High School of the  Performing Arts, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, the Bates Dance Festival, the Boston Ballet, the Harvard Summer Dance Center, Meredith College, the University of South Florida, North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Richmond, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Virginia Commonwealth University.  

From 1984-1987, she directed her own school and company, the Boston Dance Project.  She was one of five finalists in the Boston Ballet's International Choreography Competition.  From 1988-1999, Ms. Houlihan was on the faculty of New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida.  During that time, she was also the artistic director of Houlihan and Dancers.  The recipient of two Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in Dance/Choreography in 1991-92 and 1996-97, Houlihan and Dancers was on the touring roster for the state of Florida. She recently became a member of the board of directors for the Florida Dance Association and also for the American College Dance Association.

Ms. Houlihan has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival from 1981-1983, and from 1987 to the present.  As an international representative for ADF she has participated in seventeen international linkages, teaching in Korea, China, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Estonia, Poland, the Philippines, Moscow, and Mongolia.  She is the 2005 recipient of the Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching, and received her MFA degree in 2007 from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA program.  She is currently a professor at Florida State University.

GESEL MASON is Artistic Director for Gesel Mason Performance Projects. Ms. Mason has performed with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah, under the direction of Jacek Luminski, and Chuck Davis. She has also performed as a company member of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Ralph Lemon/Cross Performance Projects.

Ms. Mason’s solo project, “NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers,” includes the work of Robert Battle, Donald McKayle, Bebe Miller, David Rousséve, Andrea Woods, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. It received a National Dance Project Tour Only Grant for 2008/09 season from New England Foundation for the Arts, two Metro DC Dance Awards in 2007, and was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and National Performance Network Creation Fund. She was selected Emerging Choreographer by the Bates Dance Festival, received a 2007 Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and in 2009 was awarded University of Utah’s first Distinguished Alumna Award in Fine Arts and the Washington Performing Arts Society Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. In 2011, Ms. Mason was one of six choreographers selected by the Joyce Theater for a Rockefeller Residency Initiative in 2011.

Ms. Mason is an arts facilitator and is often sought for her ability to use the arts to engage community. She traveled to Serbia and Poland to lead performances and workshop with dancers and non-dancers of mixed abilities including wheelchair users and partially blind participants. She has designed arts programs for schools, and non-profit organizations, and created movement workshops for diverse populations. She has been Visiting Artist at University of Colorado Boulder, University of Utah, Texas Women’s University, Columbia College, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served as an adjudicator for several American College Dance Festivals.

Ms. Mason’s choreography has been presented by numerous venues and festivals including Joyce SoHo, 651 Arts, South Dallas Cultural Center, Painted Bride, Dance Place, the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland, DanceAfrica, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Her most recent project, “Women, Sex, and Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like A Ho, Sometimes You Don’t,” was commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and made its New York premiere at Joyce SoHo November 2011.


BILL WADE, recipient of the 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize, is the Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Inlet Dance Theatre, which is an outgrowth of his previous eleven years as an Artist in Residence at 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 DC from the National Endowment for the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.  This past April (2013), Bill received an award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Dance Art Form from OhioDance.

Mr. Wade was chosen by Ohio Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Foundation, Inc., Playhouse Square Foundation, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and The American Embassy in Santiago to conduct an award winning multi-phase international artist exchange program with artists from Easter Island (2006-2008). His company, Inlet Dance Theatre, conducted a two week residency of performing and teaching on the island in April of 2008. Bill is on the roster for the Ohio Arts Council’s Artists in Residence Program, conducting community residencies at area schools and in collaboration with arts organizations.  He served on the Ohio Department of Education’s Committee for the Arts and Innovative Thinking. In the 90’s, he enjoyed a long-term mentoring relationship with Alison Chase, former 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. He collaborated on projects with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Ohio Ballet, PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and even Major League Baseball. His work regularly appears in theaters, on television, at schools, in newspapers, and in magazines.  He choreographed a short program in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France for Chinese-Taipei free style ice skater David Liu. 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 the dance conservatory of 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.  He resides with his wife (Kristin) and son (Austin) in Chagrin Falls, OH.



We are thrilled to share with you the presence of LeeSaar The Company with a Master Class to kick start the conference on late Friday afternoon, as well as former Pilobolus company members Andy Herro and Edwin Olvera as Guest Teaching Artists.

LeeSaar The Company was established in Israel in 2000 by Lee Sher and Saar Harari. The company uses the different disciplines and training of Theater and Dance to create original dance  performances.  The company members are from Taiwan, Korea, the United States, Malaysia, Canada  and Israel.  In 2004, after residency in Sydney, Australia, and two seasons in Tel Aviv, the company moved to NYC where it is currently based. In 2005, Lee and Saar received American green cards awarded for excellence in the performing arts.

Andy Herro, a Marquette University grad with a degree in Theater Arts, trained under the guidance of Darci Wutz. After graduation he was offered a job dancing with Pilobolus Dance Theatre where he created works and performed for seven years, serving three of those years as dance captain and one year as rehearsal director. In his time with Pilobolus he had the honor of performing around the world in countries such as Italy, Australia, China, Brazil and Iceland. He has also performed on Regis and Kelly, Oprah, Ellen and at the Academy Awards. For a period of time, Andy along with Pilobolus and EMC, held the Guinness Book World Record for the most people crammed into a new model Mini Cooper. Currently, Andy manages a 3,000 cow dairy farm in northern Wisconsin where he lives with his wife and three children.

Edwin Olvera, a proud Wisconsinite, has spread his wings far and wide. His skill and ability has been of worldwide note as he has performed and taught in locations across the globe. After attending UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, Edwin joined the world renowned dance company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, where he was an integral force in the choreographic and creation process over the course of four years. During this time, he was featured on countless television shows and commercial advertisements including Sesame Street, Born to Dance, and the NFL Channel. Edwin has collaborated with international artists Inbal Pinto and Basil Twist and has been featured in articles by both Dance and Dancer Magazine. His most current work includes choreography and artistic direction for an evening length performance in collaboration with the Emmy award nominated lighting and production company, IG Designs.  See Olvera's work here.

Cedric Gardner
was a top 14 finalist on the 3rd season of the American dance contest series, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Dancing since a young age, he began formal dance instructions at the age of eighteen. He studied for two years at the Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He also studied and practiced at The Millennium Dance Company and The Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, CA. While attending the Peck School of the Arts, Cedric decided to form his own group, creating Fuel, a Hip Hop dance company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For four years he choreographed full length shows for Fuel performances. During this time Fuel also performed with Neil Young's “Greendale,” and under his artistic direction had the privilege of opening for entertainers such as; Little Bow Wow, India Arie, and Fantasia Burino.

Opportunities have continued for Cedric after appearing on “So You Think You Can Dance.” As a working professional dancer from Milwaukee, WI, Cedric has had the privilege of working with some of the most elite choreographers such as: Brian Friedman, Debbie Allen, Dave Scott, Mary Murphy, Mia Michaels, Napoleon and Tabitha, Nick Flores, Poppin Pete, and Shane Sparks. His unique and innovative dance technique has given him the opportunity and privilege of performing with, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Neil Young, NEYO (Macy's Celebrity Catwalk), and Sheila E.  He has also performed on “Macy's Celebrity Catwalk Challenge,” "The Voice,” "Fresh Beat Band," and “America Idol Gives Back.” Cedric had his first film appearance in a Wayans Brothers Production, “The Dance Flick” and he was also featured in the film “Step Up 3D” which was released in 2010. Cedric is now working on the Nick Jr. TV show "Yo Gabba Gabba."


Get a taste of some of the newest offerings from the exciting genre of dance on camera in this experimental shorts program from the 2013 Dance Film Association’s annual festival.

Arthur and Aileen by Marta Renzi
Brighter Borough by Georgia Parris
Folie à Deux by Nel Shelby
PAINTED by Duncan McDowall
Substance: Moloko by Natasha Merkulova
The Next Step Is by Victoria Sendra
Wild Like Kylie by Bhenjamin Ra
Kuduro NYC (Capturing Motion NYC) by David Woon, Kevin Fermoselle, & Stephanie Oppenheim

Dance Film Association Trailer click HERE


Saturday, March 15th from 7:30-9:30pm we will be hosting a Contact Improvisation Jam with musical accompaniment from the conference musicians.  All are welcome to participate, watch, and enjoy this evening of improvisation.  This event will take place in Mitchell Hall, room 254.


We are looking to create a series of classes grounded on somatic principles.  Think about submitting a class, a panel, a series of one-on-one experiences, a talk, or a research presentation focused on integrating and underlining mind-body principles in dance technique teaching.  When you submit your teaching interest information, please note if you want your class to be a part of this series.  All somatic based classes will have a small symbol on the schedule indicating they are part of the Dance & Somatic Series.

More information click HERE

AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL (ADF) - Information Session & Scholarship Audition

We are excited to be able to arrange for BOTH an ADF information session and ADF Audition as part of our ACDFA 2014
N-C Regional Conference!

ADF AUDITIONS: MONDAY, MARCH 17, 8:15am-10:15am, MIT 395
Attached you will find a flyer for the audition and a document with a bit of information about the logistics of the audition as well as general ADF info.

ADF SESSION: MONDAY, MARCH 17, 12:15-12:45pm, MIT 341 
(They will do a 30 minute session to give the students 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after to grab food and then get to their next class.)

This will be a sharing of general ADF info with a spotlight on ADF's different scholarship opportunities. They offer lots of work study scholarships that students do not need to audition for, so this would be a great time for students who might be interested in applying for those to get more information and ask questions. They'll also just be talking about the festival as well, so this session is not audition or scholarship specific.


Additional events in the community.


                          8pm, Saturday, March 15th
                 Alverno College's Pitman Theatre (map)

                          Click HERE to order tickets
          (enter "jackal" in the Coupon Code box to receive 
                           the ACDFA discount of $28)

Life moves at warp speed. We know how that feels. But do we know how it looks? And can we see how something so consistently new and disorienting is also beautiful? LeeSaar The Company makes dance that discovers the beauty within the swirling vortex of the new.  Described by The New York Times as never less than remarkable to watch, LeeSaar’s latest, grass and jackals, luxuriates in extremes both powerful and delicate, grotesque and gorgeous, all the while ricocheting from climax to climax.

TRANSMODERNISM: Integrating the art and science of movement
A symposium on the communication possible between Alexander Technique and Physical Therapy.
March 13-14, 2014 on the UW-Milwaukee Campus

The way we all interact with our environment is through movement. With an increasing dependence on technological advances, our movements have become more automated and routine, which leads to both physical and psychological stress.  As habitual movers, we rarely think about how we move, and when we do we often attempt to direct ourselves as if an outside observer was providing a posture for us to imitate. Somatic methods, such as the Alexander Technique, are one approach to affecting one’s balance of intention and attention during movement within the environment. The Alexander Technique has been successfully used with a wide range of performers from elite dancers to patients with severe neurological problems or pain. In this symposium we will bring together Instructors of Dance, Physical Therapists, and Alexander Technique teachers and practitioners to discuss and experience the relations between attention and intention to action from a variety of perspectives. We are extremely honored to have Glenna Batson, PT, PhD, AT Instructor, Professor Emeritus at Duke University as our keynote speaker.

More Information (tentative schedule & objectives) click here
Find us on Facebook, click here

Photo: Valerie Inertie

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.
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.


·     All groups and individuals registered for the conference are eligible to perform in the Informal Concerts.

·     In the interest of creating opportunities for many schools, only one dance per institution may be shown in the informal concerts. 

·     In anticipation of enthusiastic interest in presenting works, we are limiting the length of each piece to a maximum of 10 minutes for each work presented in the Informal Concert(s).  

·     The burden of meeting the time requirement rests with the choreographer.  ACDFA recommends that the choreographer allow a time margin within the 10-minute limit for technical errors or theater peculiarities.

·     As an Opening event, we are presenting the first of two Informal Concerts on Friday, March 14th. We want to know as early as possible how many schools are available to perform on the first evening of the conference. PLEASE CONTACT the Conference Coordinator at uwmnc14@uwm.edu if you are able to present in the opening night Informal Concert.

·     Dances presented in the Informal Concerts are restricted to work not being adjudicated.  Works-in-progress may be shown.  

·     The Informal Concert will be performed on the same stage as the Adjudicated Concerts.

·     A sound recording of concert quality must be provided by the choreographer in the format specified by the Conference Coordinator (more specific information is forthcoming).

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SCHEDULE (subject to change)

At this time, we are planning for the conference to begin 2pm in the afternoon of Friday, March 14th, 2014, and to conclude with a post-gala reception on the evening of Tuesday, March 18th. 

For a snapshot conference overview, click CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (updated 2/8/2014).
        Daily Schedules (updated 3/10/2014)
Friday, March 14th
Saturday, March 15th
Sunday, March 16th
Monday, March 17th
Tuesday, March 18th
Class Index (updated 3/10/2014)

Class Descriptions & Teacher Bios
 (updated 3/10/2014)
Musician Biographies (updated 2/28/2014)

Adjudication & Tech Schedules (updated 2/27/2014)
         Concert 1
Concert 2
Concert 3
Concert 4 
Informal Tech & Concert Schedules (updated 2/27/2014)
Informal Concert 1
Informal Concert 2

ADULT PARTICIPANTS (updated 2/9/2014)
MINOR PARTICIPANTS (updated 2/9/2014)

All conference participant are required to sign the Liability Waiver (faculty, students, musicians, technical directors/assistants). 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 (only) prior to arriving in Milwaukee.

Fax - (414) 229-3335
Each choreographer or representative of a choreographer (for a guest choreographer) of a dance chosen to be performed in the Gala Concert must complete and return a signed Video Waiver which will be provided after selections are made by the adjudicators. Please note that videos are for archival purposes only. 



Contact Information

  • Conference Coordinator:
    Darci Brown Wutz 
    Email: uwmnc14@uwm.edu 
    Phone: (414) 229-3058
    Fax: (414) 229-3335

Payment Instructions

  • Registration payable by:
    Check or Purchase Order 

    All checks should be payable to:
    "UWM Peck School of the Arts-ACDFA"

    Send payment to:
    UWM Peck School of the Arts
    Attn: Box Office
    P.O. Box 413
    Milwaukee, WI 53201

    Via Fax: (414) 229-3224, "ACDFA"

    Federal ID#: 39-6006492

       Photo by Troye Fox

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