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September 6, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Dancers present Asia Pacific moves

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University students will tell the story of distant cultures with their hands, hips and feet when they present the free "Asia Pacific Dance at SRU" concert at 6 p.m., Sept. 19, in the West Gym Dance Studio.

Dancers will demonstrate hula and other genres and what they learned about the cultures of Hawaii, New Zealand, Taiwan and Korea when they participated in a three-week Asia Pacific Dance Festival in Hawaii this summer.

"They also took classes and learned about indigenous Taiwanese culture and dance from teachers and students from the Taipei National University of the Arts," said Melissa Teodoro, SRU assistant professor of dance.

Students who attended the conference who will be presenting are: Erica Burke, a secondary education major from Wellsboro; Jennifer Malone, an elementary education major from Bethel Park; Shawna Tyson, a management major from Muncy; and Erin McKenna, a dance major from Colchester, Conn.; and Michelle Russ, a dance major from Frostburg, Md.

"We will be showing students and other attendees the value of being diversified in your field," Russ said. "During the concert segment, we will be sharing our experiences and informing the students of how they can participate in the festival in 2015, as it occurs every two years. The audience will see demonstrations of the various dances, hear clips of the music, and hopefully be captured by the beautiful landscapes Hawaii has to offer in our photos. We will not only be talking about the Asia Pacific Dance Festival, but also all the other fun activities the five of us got to experience on our trip."

"During the lecture portion, we are going to talk about what we did in Hawaii, from taking dance classes to seeing the island," McKenna said. "I love the dance program here because of the atmosphere," she said. "The professors are wonderful and are always bringing new material to their classes to teach, keeping me excited to be in class everyday. Not only are the professors such a great asset to the department, but each student brings energy into the department and classes that encourages and inspires everyone."

Russ said SRU's dance program is wonderful because professors teach a diversity of styles.

"While every dance major and minor is taking the ballet, modern, and jazz courses multiple times, it is always a new experience because each professor brings their own style and expertise to the class," she said. "So while you might be doing the same moves or exercises you have done in the past, they always give you a new way to think about it or execute it. Also, the amount of opportunities we are given outside of the classroom is phenomenal. From working with other choreographers to traveling across the country and the world, no one can ever say they were not given real world experiences."

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.