Mata Dance Report

A report from Kim Mata about her Mead Dream Idea.

This past Sunday, I along with one of my part-time lecturers in dance drove two 12-person vans filled with 20 students to Washington, D.C. to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. After the beautiful performance, we were taken backstage and up to a dance studio to meet with four of the dancers from the company who talked about being part of the creation of one of the works performed (in LIFT by Aszure Barton), their personal trajectories and what it is like to be a professional dance artist and for dance to be your job.

The students had an incredible time and it was a wonderful bonding experience for the entire group – faculty and students combined. I have included two brief quotes below from students who attended the event.

“I’ve seen several live performances by various professional companies, but never have I been so effected as I was by Ailey. I don’t know whether it was the mood of the day, our incredible seats, or the beautiful pieces themselves that made every step the dancers’ took so motivated, powerful, and inspiring. One of my favorite parts of the trip was sitting and listening to the professional Ailey dancers speak about their careers, passions, daily routines, etc. Everything they had to say was inspiring; there is so much to the professional dance life off of the stage and every bit of it is intriguing to me. Yet, the entire time I just kept thinking about how we were seated on the floor of this huge rehearsal studio tucked away at such a gorgeous, elite theater. Who knows what big time dancers have graced those barres or that mirror? What other amazing companies besides Ailey have filed in to warm-up, do a barre, stretch? The thought and feeling of being so physically connected to the dance world in those moments were of such power that reminiscing will inspire me for years to come.” Hannah Woodruff, 2nd Year, Systems Engineering, Dance Minor

“A few years ago, I had to write a visual analysis paper for an English class, and I chose a picture from Alvin Ailey performing “Revelations.” I had never seen the work but I was drawn to the strength and grace evident in just a photograph. Having the opportunity to see Ailey live on Sunday was absolutely wonderful. My breath was taken away when I saw the dancers move through that image that I had studied and written about. I am utterly grateful for the opportunity to see the company and the beauty and strength that they maintained through all the movement.” Caroline Korndorffer, 1st Year, Undecided

I am in the process of scheduling a dinner at my home in the next few weeks to further discuss the experience and share a meal with my students and my family. Thank you for making this possible! It was an incredibly valuable experience and one that we will not likely forget.

Warm regards,



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