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Jan. 25, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:

Dance major finds passion, earns prestigious conference invite

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Alicia Garrity enrolled at Slippery Rock University intending to become a physical therapist but found her passion in dance. Garrity’s progress and research on dance styles recently earned her an invitation to present and perform at the March 31-April 2 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Ithaca College.
            “It’s a huge deal,” she said. “It’s very exciting. I was chosen over 3,500 applicants.”
            The National Conference on Undergraduate Research, established in 1987, promotes undergraduate research and creativity activity in numerous fields of study.
            Garrity, of Pittsburgh, said her research and solo performance stem from the six-week American Dance Festival in North Carolina that she participated in last summer. The festival provides training programs for dancers, choreographers and teachers. Garrity researched different dance techniques and then created the solo “One Silent Day.” She will present her research and perform the dance at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
           “This is an awesome resume builder and awesome experience,” she said. “I want as many people as possible to see what I have created with my dance.”
            Garrity decided to major in dance because the professors and quality of other dancers at SRU impressed her. “I was going to minor in dance, but when I got here and got into the program, I just knew I wanted to do dance,” she said.
            Garrity plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue work as a dancer after graduating from SRU in May.
         Nola Nolen-Holland, assistant professor of dance, said Garrity distinguished herself with the project.
         “She devised a survey. She kept field notes as if she were an anthropologist or dance ethnologist,” she said. “Then she created a solo for herself that synthesizes all this information about dance technique. It’s like something a graduate student would do.”

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.