American College Dance Festival Association

Courtesy of, ACDFA Website

Neguif Angeles, Bridge Reporter

The American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) makes its way down to South Texas for the first time. Texas A&M International University will host this vast dance conference starting Tuesday February 28 through Saturday March 3, 2012. ACDFA will be closed to the public.

As stated in the official ACDFA web site, “The American College Dance Festival Association exists to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals.” ACDFA is an academic conference for dance, in which dance programs from different universities are brought together from states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Florida. Throughout the week of the event, students will learn dance techniques from professors of the visiting universities. Classes will begin at 8:15 A.M and continue until 6:00 P.M.

Students in the conference will have the opportunity to perform in adjudicated dance concerts. Every university will chose one or two group choreography’s that will represent their school. The first dance piece will be choreographed by a faculty guest artist, and the second one will be a student dance piece. They will then receive feedback from acclaimed national artists in dance.

An estimated 29 academic institutions will participate in ACDFA including, Miami Dade College, New Mexico State University, Rice University, Sam Houston State University, and University of Texas Pan American among many.

A total of 500 dancers will be at TAMIU participating in the conference. There will be a variety of classes offered ranging from Pilates, Yoga, African, Bollywood, Modern, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and various other courses.

Approximately 30 TAMIU students were selected to represent the university in ACDFA. One of the choreography’s selected by TAMIU includes Flamenco, a classical Spanish dance. This dance piece, choreographed by Rogelio Rodriguez, utilizes a “Pericon” which is a large fan that is displayed by the female dancers. TAMIU student Selma Gonzalez choreographed a modern dance piece, based on a tragedy that occurred with the murder of one of her cousins.
Bede Leyendecker, Department Chair of Fine and Performing Arts, started planning this dance conference five years ago in partnership with important people that are both active on campus and in the community. Leyendecker expressed, “We are really excited about having our colleagues from the region come to Laredo; this is the first time that this conference has ever been held in South Texas, so it’s a first and hopefully not a last.”

If you would like to know more about ACDFA and its history please visit their website at

The Bridge will have further coverage on ACDFA. Feel free to leave your comments
This Article has been published at