CC dance presents at conference

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Photo of dance students and instructors.

Left to right: Jodi Youmans-Jones, Madison Orr, Mckenzi Pieper, Sawyer Shepardson, Olivia Daniels, Abigale Lipson, Aaron Wood. (Courtesy photo/Aaron Wood)

Casper College dance instructors Jodi Youmans-Jones, Aaron M. Wood, and five dance majors traveled to Beaumont, Texas, to attend the American College Dance Association Southwest Conference over spring break.

Wood, dance instructor and choreographer, presented an excerpt from his original dance production “Shadowed Winds and Ghost Roads.” According to Wood, the work was performed by Abigale Lipson and Sawyer Shepardson, both from Riverton; Olivia Daniels, Colorado Springs, Colorado; McKenzi Pieper, Hay Springs, Nebraska; and Madison Orr, Casper.

The adjudicator feedback complemented the dancers’ performance stating the dancers were “elegant,” “wonderful,” “committed,” and “engaged,” said Wood. “The internationally recognized artists/adjudicators found my work to be ‘more than choreography … but a world’ and ‘appreciated the ritualistic nature of the work,’” Wood noted.

Both Wood and Youmans-Jones taught masterclasses to over 100 of the attendees. Wood’s workshops consisted of “Lyrical Athleticism/Contemporary Dance” and “Michio Ito Technique” by permission of the Ito Foundation. Youmans-Jones’ workshops included the “Fosse Technique” and “Exploring Improvisation Through the Five Senses.” Lipson represented the student organization, the Association of Dance Performance Students of Casper College, at the conference in a membership meeting. “Abigale had great insight and contribution to the multiple issues facing the academic dance world,” said Youmans-Jones.

The adjudication panel for the conference was comprised of world-renowned dance artists James Sutton, KT Niehoff, and Helanius J. Wilkins.

“The conference focus of ‘back to the basics’ embraced the joy and energy of dancers being together in the space of collaboration, invigoration, and reaffirming the sheer humanistic qualities of dance, the need to move and share with others,” Youmans-Jones said.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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