Wednesday, June 22, 2016

One of our own is coming home!

Melissa Watt - ACC's newest dance professor!
“Anything is dance - it doesn’t have to be a perfect ballet or a perfect modern piece. You can be a creator. You can be a choreographer, whether you think you can or not. It just takes the willingness to experiment and play.” - Melissa Watt
Former ACC dance student Melissa Watt is returning to the Rio Grande Campus to teach the dance performance workshop class this summer.
Between her undergrad at North Texas University and earning her Masters in Dance at Texas Woman’s University, Melissa dove into classes at ACC. She studied under Allison Orr, took ballet from Kathy Dunn Hamrick, learned Martha Graham repertory from Jessica Coxe, and fell in love with Darla Johnson’s pedagogy.
“I just love the community aspect,” Melissa said. She fondly remembers Darla’s circled warm-ups and the immediate feeling of connection fostered in the studio.
Similar to Darla’s workshop classes, Melissa also values improvisation and highly encourages her students to collaborate with her during the choreography process. “I like non-traditional, kind of experimental dance,” Melissa said about her choreographic style.
Previous dance performance workshop performance by Darla Johnson. Photo by Anne Wharton.
She particularly enjoys a variety show format. At TWU, her final project brought together dance, talking, live music and projections. “It’s so engaging and fun, and it brings people of all different backgrounds together.  We can all watch this together and share laughs about whatever is going on,” Melissa said. She also loves the unpredictability of mixing up genres and mediums. “You never know what’s going to happen next - it’s a surprise!”
The summer dance informance this year is right up her alley. The informance has been transformed into a multidisciplinary showcase pulling together students and faculty from dance, music, drama, creative writing, RTF and visual art.
Dancers from Darla's previous summer dance piece. Photo by Anne Wharton.
Melissa’s class will focus on creating a dance piece to premiere in the August showcase. Whether the piece involves filming or jamming to live music, the only guarantee is you’ll be moving and having fun!
Registration is open now through July 29 for Melissa's class: DANC 1351 Syn 05384. Grab your spot today before the class fills and open your world to everything that dance can be!

Mark your calendars now for the showcase of the summer, August 11 and 12 at 8 pm; it's free and open to the public!

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