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American College Dance Association

The American College Dance Festival provides extraordinary experiences for young dancers. The annual three-day, spring semester New England ACDA Festival includes master classes in various idioms, panel discussions, workshops, and formal and informal concerts with choreography by students and faculty from 50 or more institutions. Other regions throughout the United States also have festivals in the spring.

ACDA logo

In 2013, we were excited to host the American College Dance Festival, from March 14-17, right here on our campus! There were dance workshops and activities everywhere, from the Rec Center and the new bandroom facilities near there, on up to the Campus Center and Totman itself. The whole conference began with African drums and dancers moving across campus in an official joyous opening ceremony, and that evening the Joffrey Ballet performing Njinksy's original Rite of Spring. It was an amazing experience!

In February of 2009, UMass brought Hazel Sabas-Gower's Deconstructing Gershwin to the ACDF in Orono, Maine. The dancers performed the piece wonderfully and the adjudicators, Alison Chase, Nicholas Leichter and Claire Porter, gave the performers and choreographer fabulous feedback. It was a wonderful experience.

The February, 2010 New England ACDF was at Boston University, providing exciting opportunities to engage many UMass dancers at a location so close to home. 2010 is a national year; several pieces from each region are chosen for performance in the late spring at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C.

Each participating college may send two pieces for adjudication, to get feedback from professionals. At least one work must be a student piece. What an exciting opportunity to get your work seen! The UMass dance faculty strongly encourages students to submit their piece from the ECS show for consideration. Pieces can be submitted for the main stage concerts and for the informal concert. This piece is not adjudicated, nor does it have formal dance lighting. The faculty auditions student pieces in early November, live or on dvd.

The UMass Department of Music and Dance has a limited amount of funding to support registration fees for students dancing in any of the concerts; however, we encourage all students who are interested and can pay for their own registration (about $100), to attend ACDA festivals and take advantage of the outstanding concerts and classes.

If you know you'd like to attend, regardless of whether you're performing, please let us know!

And do check out this link to the ACDA homepage:


Dance Department