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Studio gets renovations under new leader

By Annie Goodman
On July 10, 2017

he dance studio has begun renovations with newly acquired grants. Director of Dance Keith “Skip” Costa plans to further renovate.
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

Under new direction, the dance program is undergoing numerous changes.

“As Southeastern pushes to advance our dance program to the current trends and accreditation of the ACDA, we will be revising our curriculum over time to reflect this,” said Director of Dance Keith “Skip” Costa. 

Costa sees more DNC 350: Special Topic courses being offered in the future  to meet the demand of specialized courses needed to re-enforce the contemporary dance focus of the dance program through aspects of technique, choreography and performance.

“Possible courses to arrive in the future are Aerial Dance I & II, Dance as Academic Research, Music for Dancers and additional, very-needed DPP performance courses that will be offered each term for a broader perspective on research and performance,” said Costa.

Costa has received funding to begin renovating the dance studio.

“Due to several technological grants received through Southeastern, I have been able to gain $47,000 in funding to begin to put our dance studio at the level of national standards for university dance training and education,” said Costa. “We still have $55,000 more to go, so currently, we have met our halfway goal.”

With these grants, Costa has already begun renovations.

“Our immediate renovations going on this summer are a new sound system, new wall mirrors, new painted black walls, new circuit breaker to support our future theatrical lighting grant and the installation of our incredible new Harlequin Marley Floor,” said Costa.

Costa has more renovations planned for the future.

Costa said, “The next phase of our renovation will include a new theatrical lighting system and light board, black curtain drapes to frame the space and sound proofing of the room so that it can be a professional black box dance theatre for the exclusivity of dance as an academic field of study and research here at Southeastern which has been going on since the 1940s and also a reason for the need of this renovation.”

To raise the funds they need, Costa will be implementing an activity fee.

“We will also begin offering a low-cost masterclass fee once a semester for our Southeastern students to participate in a two hour masterclass by various touring artists and a low-cost performance fee to show work in our informal studio concert,” said Costa.

Costa offers chances for students to audition for, view and present dances throughout each semester in the dance program.

Costa said, “All Southeastern students will have numerous opportunities for auditions, to view our main stage dance concerts each semester in Vonnie Borden Theatre, to present their dance research in various outlets on campus and off campus at our 2018 ACDA Regional Conference at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, and to perform their own works in our new informal concert in dance studio each semester for all areas of the performing arts and exciting new courses just to name a few.”

Costa hopes to advance the field of dance at the university further in the future as well.

Costa said, “Over time, I hope to bring back the BA in dance or help create a BA in the Performance with a dance major concentration, establish our national dance chapter of Chi Tau Epsilon fraternity, continue to bring student and faculty work for adjudication at ACDA at both the regional and national conferences at the Kennedy Center, join the National Dance Education Organization as an institution, try to hire a few more part-time lecturers in dance, continue to provide valuable opportunities and training to our dance students for successful, immediate careers after graduation or the continuation onto pursuing their MA, MFA or Ph.D. in dance or movement studies.” 

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