Sponsored by the American College Dance Festival Association, the event showcased dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit, according to its website. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on a national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performances being created in campus programs such as Dominican’s BFA in Dance, which has been selected three times to the National Festival.
Moreover, the National Festival allows Dominican’s student dancers to perform on a stage normally reserved for professionals in a prestigious venue.
“I think the moment that stands out most for me, was when we first walked up the steps to the Kennedy Center,” said Dominican BFA in Dance student Yoshie Fujimoto Kateada . “I was excited at the prospect of performing, but I did not really realize what a privilege it was to perform in such an amazing place until we arrived.
“Dancing in a place as historic as D.C. and the Kennedy Center was humbling, and I am so grateful that I got to share the experience with some of my favorite people in the world.”
Joining Kateada on stage to present their production of “RUSH” were fellow BFA in Dance students Alex Clauss, Mary Goetz, Madeline Matuska, Ivy Patterson, Elizabeth Anne Bertolino, Janae Sykes, Dalmacio Payomo, Brittany Hernandez, Will Couture and Liza Kroeschell. Kroeschell and Couture, like Kateada, hail from the Midwest.
“It has been challenging, but that’s what I wanted. I came to college to expose and tackle my weaknesses, learn from my mistakes and redefine the way I see the world. Those kinds of things don’t happen when you’re comfortable,” said Kroeschell, who is from Iowa. “My 10 classmates in the BFA junior class and some really special teachers have helped me through waves of self-doubt and frustration and I am starting to appreciate the value of a good challenge.”
Kroeschell’s experience is shared by Kateada, who came to Dominican from Wisconsin and now has traveled all over the country with her BFA in Dance classmates.
“I appreciate being able to pursue dance in a conservatory like setting, while also having access to academics,” Kateada said. “I am a religion minor, and have been fascinated by the number of times that a concept in dance is also addressed in one of my academic classes. I am beginning to see that all subjects really are connected. Additionally, I love being a part of my class. The other 10 people in my class have become my family, and I love dancing with them every day.”