Posting Date: June 10, 2010
KSU Dance Company performs at Kennedy Center
Performance provides students with valuable experience
By Rochelle S. Wilson
Students (from left) Dale Brown, Sara McKenna, Morgan Carlisle, Shawn Evangelista, William Michael Floyd, Devon Sims, Prof. Ivan Pulinkala, Andy Allen, Katie Veldhuis and Ian Baxter in Washington, D.C.
photo courtesy of Morgan Carlisle
For members of the Kennesaw State University Dance Company, performing last month at the world-renowned Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. fulfilled lifelong aspirations. “It was something that was a dream of mine when I started dancing,” says KSU Dance Company member Ian Baxter. “It was amazing. Tons of people have performed at the Kennedy Center, and I’m one of them. The experience definitely helped me know that I am going to go on to bigger and better things,” he says.
This marks the second consecutive time that KSU was selected to perform at the American College Dance Festival Association's National College Dance Festival. “It was an incredible experience for us to be performing at the Kennedy Center. It’s very stimulating to be in that space,” says Ivan Pulinkala, director of the KSU Program in Dance and choreographer of “Chakra," the piece they performed. As an additional honor, the KSU students were selected to close the concert in which they performed. “The piece was very well received. The audience was very much moved by the work,” adds Pulinkala.
In addition to performing, students were also given the opportunity to associate with other dance professionals. “Students got to interact with dancers from across the country, meet faculty from across the country and see the history that this country has with the arts,” says Pulinkala. The experience also helped some students solidify career plans. Dale Brown, another member of the Dance Company, says, “I've never been so driven to return to that stage as a professional one day."
Pulinkala attributes the success of the program to its many stakeholders. “Our success shows the strength of this dance program, the strength of our students, the strength of our faculty, and the support of our administration. Without all those components, we would not have the success we’ve had,” he says. “It’s not the work of one or two individuals; it’s the work of many people.”