Queensborough was the only Community College Selected to Perform at the ACDA Gala

Published: April 11, 2018

Recently, ten Queensborough dance students participated in the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Northeast Conference, held at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, March 15-18.

Their performances, choreographed by guest company, Step Afrika! and Queensborough dance student Alicia Raquel, were chosen to be featured at the Conference’s Gala. Queensborough was the only Community College selected to perform at the event. Also, students who performed at the conference will perform Step Afrika! as well as Alicia’s piece along with other works by student, guest and faculty choreographers, at the Dance Workshop in New York on May 10 and 11 at 8:00pm.

"This is significant honor, as the conference includes dance programs from all over New York and New Jersey, including elite BFA programs. We are extremely proud of our students for the amazing work they did there, their professionalism and collegial support of their student peers," said Professor Aviva Geismar, Health, Physical Education and Dance Department at Queensborough. 

Hundreds of gifted dance students brought their own dance styles to the conference. They came from more than 30 colleges throughout the Northeast, including Hobart & William Smith Colleges, American University, Long Island University-Post, Queens College|CUNY, Rutgers University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hofstra University, Goucher College, SUNY Potsdam, Niagara County Community College, and Raritan Valley Community College.

“The ACDA conference was fantastic,” said dance student Jeovanie Fernandez, who plans to graduate from Queensborough this spring. “There was an amazing number of styles brought to the table, including hip hop, tango, and ballroom.”

The ACDA conference is a celebration of dance in higher education. The three-day event features a wide variety of master classes, scholarly research presentations and opportunities for student and faculty exchange. An adjudication panel selects which pieces will be performed at the Gala Concert which is held on the last day. 

Jeovanie said that, “When I was looking for which CUNY college to attend I heard over and over that Queensborough has the strongest dance program throughout CUNY.”

He went on to explain that, “A lot of college programs stress modern dance. I like street, percussive and cultural dancing.  That’s what’s great about the support system at Queensborough. The faculty give me the freedom to explore, grow and thrive within my own styles of dance.”

The journey’s that these students embark on to discover and nurture their passion for dance is as varied as the dance styles presented at the conference. Joevanie’s journey began as a child, when he attended festive church events with his family and learned the Salsa.

In the years that followed Jeovanie practiced in and out of studios. He studied in the Performing Arts Program at Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland. There his instructors took notice of his excellent technique and interpretation of movement.  He studied with the guidance of a mentor in his junior year who placed him on the highest level where he was on the front line of every competition. In his senior year his mentor gave him an unusual assignment.

“One of my best experiences in high school was teaching a beginning dance class in order to complete my final credit for graduation. In some ways the experience was better training and more rewarding than just rehearsing in the studio. I got to be on the giving end, opening other students’ eyes to the joy of dancing.”


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