Texas Tech University

In Motion

Kyla Olson

December 7, 2023

Kyla Olson

How is it already December?!? This semester has simply flown by. This academic year has been jam-packed – renovations in the dance building over the summer; writing our accreditation self-study in preparation for our visit; auditions for our dance productions and rehearsals; recruiting trips and hosting our fall College Day; our NASD site visit during our performances of Fall Dance Festival; a guest artist residency with dance professional and Lubbock-native, Jamy Meek; and moving into finals week. The pace of this semester feels like a speeding bullet. Both students and faculty are ready for the winter break to allow ourselves time to rest, recuperate, and reflect.

Our recent accreditation site visit with National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) was insightful. Our site visitors attended classes, met with faculty, staff, students, and administrators, toured our facilities, and observed our final dress rehearsal for Fall Dance Festival. While we will have to wait until fall to receive official word from the NASD commission, the site visitors gave us plenty to reflect upon as a program to better serve our students and use our stellar faculty more effectively. As I have mentioned previously in my column, the dance faculty are in the process of reviewing its curriculum to improve student experience in the program. And we hope the feedback we receive from NASD will guide us in the right direction. Receiving outside feedback has helped the program identify areas of concern that were already on our radar, while reminding us of the areas in which we excel – which is challenging to see from our perspective.

This year's student production of Fall Dance Festival, which took place in The CH Foundation The Legacy of Christine DeVitt Black Box Theatre, was a great success. It featured work by B.A. and B.F.A. dance majors, including solo performances from the choreographers. Thanks to the strong mentorship by Professor Melissa Brading, this may be our strongest student production yet. Each choreographer created unique works, and the performers “left it all” on the stage: a truly proud moment for our program!

Jamy Meek and studentsWe were thrilled to recently welcome professional dancer/choreographer, Jamy Meek, for a 5-day residency with our students. During his residency, he taught a few classes and choreographed a short work to be featured in the upcoming production of DanceTech. A Lubbock native who has gone on to work with such prestigious companies as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Netherlands Dans Theater, Meek inspired our students in his professional journey that began here in Lubbock. A graduate of Lubbock High School and Ballet Lubbock, Jamy was delighted to come back home to collaboratively create with our dance students. His creative process was fascinating, and audiences will take notice of his distinctive movement and choreography. Don't miss our DanceTech performances February 22-24, 2024 in the Charles E. Maedgen, Jr. Theatre.

Along with everyone in dance, I want to wish you a happy (and restful and reflective) holiday season – see you in the new year!