In my current appointment at Idaho State University, I have engaged in service at the community, university, departmental, and programmatic levels. The following includes several highlights from 2017- present:
Service to the Dance Program
As the Director of Dance, I have devoted a considerable amount of effort and time to increasing the visibility of our program on campus and within the local and regional community. I created new Facebook and Instagram accounts, have been working on updating our webpage, and have been offering workshops and open houses in our studios. I have also been instrumental in developing new promotional materials that are more updated and accurately reflect the scope of our program. As most of my students have had very limited exposure to professional dance, it has been very important to me to bring in a variety of guest artists. In Spring 2018, I held a Movement and Dance Day and brought in guests from Salt Lake City, Boise, and Twin Falls. That same semester, I was able to organize a 4 day residency with Falcon Dance, a NYC based collective under the direction of Brit Falcon (who recently received an emerging choreographer honor from Bates Dance Festival). Brit was able to bring two dancers with her and the whole residency was very exciting, not just for ISU students, but also for dancers in the Pocatello community. In Fall 2018, I was able to solidify funding from the Bistline Foundation to bring in the legendary Bill Evans for a two week guest artist residency. Students and community members have described the opportunity to study with Bill Evans as profoundly meaningful and I was thrilled to bring a guest of this caliber to our small program. In February 2019, I organized a Love/DANCE workshop and was able to bring in Amy Gunter-Lolofie, artistic director of Salt II in Salt Lake City, through a grant from the Cultural Events Committee. In January 2020, our program will be hosting the first-ever Body and Soul Festival at ISU, also funded through a Cultural Events Committee grant. As part of this festival, Courtney World, from University of the South in Tennessee and Elliott Keller from University of Utah, will share workshops and performances. I will also be inviting additional interdisciplinary sessions as part of this free event. One of the other main areas of service to the program relates to my commitment to bringing our students to the American College Dance Association Conference every year. Last year, we made ISU history when my work and a student's work were both chosen for the Gala Concert. My student's work was subsequently considered for presentation at Jacob's Pillow, garnering ISU national attention. These experiences are essential for students as they have the opportunity to take a variety of classes, meet students from different programs, perform, receive feedback, and begin building a network. Amanda Stubblefield (class of 2019, BA in Dance) shared her thoughts: “ISU Dance has opened up an entirely new world of creative investigation which has allowed me to successfully present my work as an emerging choreographer, inspired me to take more risks as a performing artist, and led to an overall increase in self-awareness and confidence.”
Another area of development has involved my efforts to offer dance students more opportunities to perform, teach, and share their choreographic works. In addition to the annual concert that I direct, I have invited students to participate in several symposium/conference presentations and have created collaborative experiences with music faculty and students. I also was able to get funding to bring a student to Boise for a guest teaching opportunity and last Spring, was able to bring three students to Salt Lake City to take class with Daniel Charon, Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. I also created a new capstone course and in Spring 2019, several students designed, promoted, and produced their own concert to standing room only! Finally, in Spring 2018, our program participated in National Water Dances, an annual event bringing communities across the United States together through dance and movement.
In Fall 2019, I submitted a curriculum proposal for a new BA in Dance Studies and a revised dance minor. I worked on developing and designing this curriculum for one year, resulting in a proposal that is clear in identity, more streamlined, more accessible, and in alignment with current educational standards. The new curriculum is rooted in dance as creative and embodied practice and offers multiple opportunities for interdisciplinary directions.
Service to the Department of Theatre and Dance/School of Performing Arts
In Spring 2019, I was invited to choreograph the dance sections for Shakespeare in Love.
This was a wonderful opportunity to spend more time with the theatre
students and broaden my experience in the theatrical arena. In Fall
2019, I was invited again to create choreographed sections for the
production Last Train to Nibroc. While this production generally does
not include dance, the director was interested in using movement as a
means of enhancing the relationship between the characters of this
Music professor, Kathleen Lane's shared her impressions: "Just
a short note to tell you how specific, meaningful and beautiful the
dance movement was in Nibroc. I saw the play last night, and the
entr'acte dance added so much to the character development, (which was
slow, because of the repressed characters and time period). You are so sensitive to "character via movement!!"
In addition to choreographing for theatre productions, I also teach
several workshops for the spring recruiting event, One Acts. Every year,
myself and dance students offer several different styles of movement
and dance for this two day event. Lastly, I have collaborated with
several music professors and students on a variety of events. In April
2019, I choreographed a work to Eric Whitacre's "Sleep", to perform with
Professor Brooks and the Wind Ensemble students during their culminating
concert. I also worked with two music students on performances both on
campus and in the community. In November 2019, Julie Sorenson, conductor of the Idaho Civic Symphony, invited me to perform alongside guitar professor, Curtis Thompson, during their annual fundraising event. In April 2020, I will join Professor Lane
and Professor Armstrong for a collaborative music and dance concert.
Service to the University and College of Arts and Letters
During the past two years at ISU, I have provided service to the university through committees, symposiums, and community outreach. I have served on the New Year's Eve Gala Committee for two years and have not only been actively involved in helping to plan this annual fundraiser, but also to make artistic contributions to the event. Each year, I create/re-imagine works in collaboration with the student dancers. In 2018, I involved a student musician to join our performance as well. In 2018, I served on the search committee for a new directing position to join the theatre faculty. In Fall 2017, I organized a guest artist residency and directed a dance concert as part of a grant-funded symposium called "Surviving Voices". This campus-wide symposium involved the efforts of faculty from Social Work, Global Studies, Communications, and Dance to create a several day event bringing increased awareness to violence against women across the globe. I collaborated with our guest artist and dancers to create and direct our concert Voices. Our work premiered in December 2017 during the symposium and following the success of the work, I was able to solidify a one-day residency with the College of Southern Idaho to bring Voices to that campus and the community of Twin Falls, ID. In addition to performing, myself and the students also taught several master classes. Finally, in regards to recruitment and retention, I have taught numerous master classes locally and regionally as part of the Liberal Arts High program and the summer ISU Bridge program.