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Salem State Dance Student Sarah Soares Selected to Perform at American College Dance Association National Conference

Salem State dance major Sarah Soares’s (they/them) solo dance work, Petri Dish, has been selected for performance at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) 2023 National Conference in May. Soares’s solo was adjudicated by a panel of internationally renowned dance artists and selected from works by students, faculty, and guest artists from 31 participating colleges and universities at the ACDA’s Northeast Regional Conference on March 2-5 at Montclair State University.

"collect me, exploit me, detach, repeat," created and performed by dance majors Jack Caravallo and Kaija Schram, also received raves from the adjudication panelists. The panel commended them as "sophisticated" and gorgeous movers," with a "virtuosic" performance. Additional works and screen dances were presented by students Arianna Cavallaro, Aiden Jones, and Austin Guin; and dance faculty Meghan McLyman and Betsy Miller, in informal showings throughout the conference.

This is the first time in the Salem State dance program's history that a piece has been selected for this tremendous national recognition. Dance program coordinator Meghan McLyman shares,  “This recognition is not just about Sarah and this one solo, it is also about the collective energy, creativity, and growth of the dance program at Salem State. This moment is the pinnacle of years of hard work and nurturing to create a supportive community that fosters each student's uniqueness. This honor is a representation of every student who has, and will, dance through the studio doors at Salem State.”

Soares is a part-time student going into their fourth year of studies as a dance major with a concentration in modern dance and a minor in psychology. This is the second time they have been invited to present a solo dance piece for adjudication at the ACDA Northeast Regional Conference, presenting “Retreat” in 2022. 

The National College Dance Festival, a biennial event, showcases dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance created on college and university campuses. The National Festival presents  performances of 30 works selected from the entire country. The 2023 Festival will take place May 26-28 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California.

Congratulations to Salem State Dance! 


Photo credit: Olivia Moon Photography



Karen A Gahagan
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