Close to 500 people will gather at West Virginia University to celebrate dance when its School of Theatre & Dance hosts the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the American College of Dance Association March 18-21.

“Dance students and faculty will have the opportunity to choose from over 100 classes, panels and research presentations,” said Maureen Kaddar, conference coordinator and a lecturer in WVU’s dance program. “These events include an enormous variety of dance technique classes from classical ballet to modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, contemporary, world dances, conditioning for dancers, yoga for dancers, composition, improvisation and various somatic techniques.”

There will also be opportunities to watch Dance on Camera showings, learn career strategies, participate in a wellness workshop, learn how to produce an event, practice community outreach, and get updates on research conducted by faculty and students.

This will be WVU’s first opportunity to host the Mid-Atlantic conference, though WVU was one of the five founding schools to make up the ACDA in 1971.

“We have a long history with the organization, thanks to the foresight of Mary Kathryn ‘Kacy’ Wiedebusch, WVU’s ‘First Lady of Dance,’” Kaddar said. The Mid-Atlantic region is the largest of the of the 12 that comprise the ACDA.

In addition to the learning opportunities for participating dancers and faculty, the conference will offer a number of free performances for local audiences.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Metropolitan Theatre, “Locally Grown – Dance in West Virginia” will feature professional dance companies and artists from the state, including the West Virginia Dance Company, Good Foot Dance Company, Alchemy Dance Project, the Charleston Ballet, Beckley Dance Theatre, West Virginia artist Michael Garber, and some local schools and studios. WVU President Gordon Gee will address the audience at the Friday concert.

There will also be four major adjudicated concerts, each followed by a feedback session with the adjudicators. The conference will conclude with a Gala dance concert. These concerts will be held at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19, 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday, March 20, and at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of WVU’s Creative Arts Center.

“Hosting the conference brings exposure and attention to our dance program and to the rich history that this campus holds with dance and with the ACDA,” said Kaddar. “It gives pride to our dance community, both on and off campus, that we are an important part of the larger community of dance and dance education in our region and in our nation

“It brings recognition that dance, among all the arts, is an important part of the overall educational tapestry of this campus,” she added. “It also gives our students and faculty the opportunity to share their creative work and research as well as to take advantage of all the offerings of the conference right here at our doorstep.”

The American College Dance Association’s primary focus is to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments. ACDA’s sponsorship of regional conferences and the national dance festival provides the venue for students and faculty to engage in four days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country.

For more information on the conference, please contact Kaddar at



CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts

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