The BYU-Idaho dance department performed at the American College Dance Association Conference at the University of Utah on March 1-4 and received positive feedback from the adjudicators.

“Words used by the adjudicators when describing these pieces were a brilliant, breathtaking, delicious, fantabulous, and visual spectacle, ” said Wendy Bone, a faculty member in the dance department, on the BYU-I Dance Department Facebook page.

Students received help from the adjudicators to understand where to improve and what they did well in their performances.

“The adjudicators were so good at giving really informative and positive feedback about the dances which I loved to listen to,” said Clarissa Jack, a senior studying dance.

These two performances were choreographed by Wendy Bone and Clarissa Jack, a BYU-I student who studied in the dance department.

Bone choreographed a piece called, “Fugue,” which is an abstract interpretation of the iron rod depicted in the Book of Mormon. Bone described how the dancers passed three 8-foot rods from one dancer to another to hang, swing, fly, jump and flip with the music.

“Dancers play with the paradox of heavy, light, unmovable, agile, supported and unsupported,” Bone said. “The movement is designed to represent our journey as we move along our path home.” 

Bone and the dance students learned a lot from participating in the conference and working together all semester for their performances.

“I have had the chance to work very closely with her (Bone) on multiple projects, and I have learned so much from her,” Jack said. “I have learned a lot about leadership and how to effectively manage and organize a team and a classroom.”

In total there were 40 dances presented during the conference and 11 of the 40 were presented again in the final gala concert. Bone said “Fugue” was chosen to close the concert.

Jack choreographed a piece called, “Intersection.”

“This choreography is based on the concept of how we cross paths with people and how those intersections impact our lives for better or worse,” Jack said.

In this choreography, Jack created formations and movement sequences that were inspired by her own experiences of this concept in her life. The music she used was intentionally used to build a climax throughout the performance.

“I am proud of the choreography that I was able to produce,” Jack said. “I was definitely trying to push myself out of my comfort zone with this piece and I think I was able to accomplish that.”

Bone explained that the conference brought together 500 students from 28 colleges and universities. Along with the dance performances, students attended classes, lectures, workshops and feedback sessions.

“BYU-Idaho has an amazing dance program,” Bone said. “Although we are small, our students get hands-on experiences as we mentor them in teaching, directing, performing and choreography. This usually does not happen until they are grad students.”

These 12 students auditioned at the beginning of the spring semester to spend nine hours a week for seven weeks preparing for their dance performances. Six students performed “Intersection” while the other six performed “Fugue.”

“This group was outstanding in both choreography and performance,” said Eva Walburger, the dance office assistant.