Dance to perform at the Kennedy Center

danah bella and the cast of bella's “passing. pausa. gap.” Back row – left to right: Denise Urban, Sara Cooper, Nicole Diambra, Grace Smiley, danah bella and Arianne Thompson. Bottom row – left to right: Allie Richter, Lexie Dunks and Fiona O’Brien. Photo courtesy of the Department of Dance.

Fifteen majors in Radford University’s Department of Dance descended on West Virginia University and landed themselves the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

They received this opportunity at the 2016 American College Dance Association's Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference where they competed with other universities in the region. Out of 60 pieces in the adjudicated performances, one of Radford’s two entries was one of 12 included in a gala performance culminating the festival.

Out of those 12 pieces, the adjudicators chose Radford as one of three to represent the region at the national conference in June at the Kennedy Center.

Department of Dance Chair danah bella choreographed this winning dance work, “passing. pausa. gap.” It is described as an austere space dotted with chairs creating a theater of voyeurism juxtaposed by the gestural intimacy of disaffected bodies.

Another of bella’s pieces also made it into the gala performance at the mid-Atlantic conference. Students at James Madison University performed a work she created for them.

The other piece Radford University presented for the adjudication was JoBeth Hardin’s “Xerox.” bella said this was a huge hit with the audience and during the performance laughter filled the theatre.

In a noncompetitive performance, Crystal Lewis presented "Flirting with Light Again." Lewis is an assistant professor of dance at Radford.

“Radford University dance was well represented – our dancers were praised both for their technical skills and their good heartedness,” said bella.

The dance majors who attended included: Kari Argabright, Sara Cooper, Nicole Diambra, Lexie Dunks, Brittany Fritchman, Gaige Koontz, Amy Livesay, Fiona O’Brien, Allie Richter, Matthew Robinson, Grace Smiley, Arianne Thompson, Tori Unterberger, and Denise Urban.

They will perform in the 2016 National College Dance Festival. This runs from June 8-11, 2016 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Gala performances at the Kennedy Center are June 9, 10 and 11.

For more information about the American College Dance Association visit For more information about the Department of Dance, go to

Apr 7, 2016