Christal Brown teaching
Daria Clarke '21 BFA Dance

Daria Clarke ’21 Coming “Home” with Garth Fagan Dance Company

As an undergrad, Daria “Toni” Clarke ’21 set aside ambitions to be a dermatologist or veterinarian for her first love, dance. Upon graduation, she set her sights on the Garth Fagan Dance company, based in upstate New York. Her professor and mentor, Dr. Janet Lilly(Professor of Dance), had sent her a flier on tryouts. 

“This is a modern dance company with African, Caribbean, ballet, and post-modern aesthetics!” Clarke explains. 

The company was founded by Garth Fagan, the Tony award-winning choreographer who brought Disney’s The Lion King to life on the Broadway stage through dance and puppetry.

When Clarke was called for three days of auditions, she was elated. But it was a trial by fire. On the final day, Garth Fagan himself was on hand to make a decision. She was hired!

Clarke will be performing with Garth Fagan Dance as part of the UNC Greensboro Concert & Lecture Series, and will participate in a masterclass with School of Dance students.  It will be her first time back to UNCG since graduation.

Garth Fagan Masterclass

April 4th @ 2pm

201A Coleman Building

Class for selected dance majors, but open to all UNCG students to attend


Garth Fagan Dance Public Performance

April 5th @ 8pm

UNCG Auditorium

Tickets can be purchased at

By Mike Harris and Terri Relos
Photography by Steven Pisano 

UNC Greensboro School of Dance Opens Its Doors for Community Dance Day

On March 1, 2024, the UNC Greensboro (UNCG) School of Dance will host Community Dance Day, welcoming students from high schools across North Carolina and Virginia. The initiative aims to engage the broader community by offering a comprehensive program encompassing various dance classes, performances, workshops, and discussions. 

School of Dance Director Lee Walton says the event will involve approximately 180 High School dance students and their teachers, many of whom are UNCG alumni. 

“With a diverse array of activities and expert guidance, this Day of Dance promises to be an enriching experience for all involved. This event underscores the School of Dance’s commitment to community engagement and UNCG’s vision to ‘redefine the public research university for the 21st century as an inclusive, collaborative, and responsive institution making a difference in the lives of students and the communities it serves.’” 

During the event, which runs from 8:30 am–3:00 pm, participants will experience a series of activities, including up to four dance classes led by UNCG faculty and graduate students. These classes will cover a diverse range of dance styles, such as jazz, contemporary, ballet, safety release technique, Afro contemporary, Afrobeats, samba, salsa, Afro Cuban rumba, yoga, Pilates, and percussion workshops.


Liam Roos, Yisel Ortiz, and Associate Professor Michael Flannery checking footage during production of the School of Theatre’s web series I ❤️ Collaboration. Photo credit: Jannida Chase

The Making of a Web Series: I ❤️ Collaboration

I❤️Collaboration, a thirteen-part web series developed by students and faculty in the School of Theatre, School of Music, and Department of Media Studies can be seen as a training ground, a recruiting tool, and now, as a contender in a comedy film festival.

More about that later. First, let’s roll back the tape to where it all started:

“We’d been talking for years—even before the pandemic made us take everything online for a while—about adding some sort of video component to our theatre season,” says Michael Flannery, Associate Professor of Acting for the Camera. “We did a trio of short films two years ago, and I thought this time it would be fun to do a mockumentary, something sort of like The Office.”

Flannery worked with two students, Andre Otabor and Jeffrey Payton, both seniors in the BFA Acting Program, to brainstorm what that might look like. They wound up with a story about college students whose final exam is hijacked by the graduate teaching assistant who was humiliated by someone in the class, and they are forced to complete a scavenger hunt to pass. (more…)

Meet the Meshroom: A Mash-Up of Art, Dance, and Music

“Drop In. Drop Out. Bring a Friend.”

That is the tag line for a new event coming to UNC Greensboro in February through a partnership between Duke University Arts and the UNCG School of Dance.

Those are also literally the only instructions for the event, according to Caitlyn Schrader (’22 MFA Dance), CVPA’s Director or Community Engagement, who is co-curating the event, along with School of Dance Director Lee Walton and kt williams (’23 MFA Dance).

The event is called Meshroom, and Schrader promises that it will be an experience that you will not soon forget:

“It’s kind of wild. You walk into something that is so unfamiliar. It’s almost difficult to describe because it is so experimental. It’s not like ‘come see this play’ or ‘come see this dance performance,’ because it’s not that. It does involve work from visual artists, musicians, and movement artists, but there’s no stage, no script, no rehearsals. It is strictly improvisational. It’s more about process than product.” (more…)

Maria Menendez '23 DMA Music

Commencement Profile: Maria Menendez

Maria Menendez 


Hometown: La Habana, Cuba 


What was it that led you to pursue a life in the arts? 

In Cuba I studied piano and choral conducting. Before I left my country, I was already working as a music teacher. I went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where I did my undergraduate studies in keyboard performance and received a master’s degree in collaborative piano there.  

Why did you choose UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts? 

After completing my master’s degree, I settled in South Carolina and explored the possibility of completing a terminal degree in music. I found that the music program at UNCG School of Music had an excellent reputation and decided to apply. I also had a direct reference from a student in South Carolina who graduated from the Collaborative Piano program at CVPA. My intention was to earn a terminal degree in musicstudies in order to open possibilities for better job offers. 

 How was CVPA/UNCG a good fit for you? 

My experience at UNCG has been positive in terms of personal and professional growth. I have interacted with professors who have been a great influence. Professors at UNCG really focus on possibilities and not on limitations. They have known how to inspire and push me toward the best version of myself. 

What is your favorite thing about CVPA, UNCG, and/or Greensboro? 

One of my favorite things about UNCG is the inclusive environment and genuine interest in the student as an individual. As for Greensboro, I’m fascinated by the colors and climate of autumn. Fall is my favorite season of the year. 

What is something you gained at CVPA/UNCG that you will take with you on your next step in your journey? 

I am leaving the School of Music with a flexible mentality to adapt to all situations that I may encounter in the future. I have also learned that to be able to teach I must develop the best of myself. Then Ican give back to my students. 

What are your plans? 

I am fortunate to have a job lined up before graduating. In addition to accompanying, I’ll have access to teaching some music courses and this flexibility attracted me to this position. I consider this a first step. I’m open to possibilities that will come! My fundamental plan is to use my knowledge and talents to contribute to the lives of others. 

What is your advice for current or future Spartans? 

Each one of us has more power than we imagine to enhance our abilities and to help our fellow human beings. We can truly conquer everything on which we focus our energy and intentions in any field of study. 

Story by Terri W. Relos

Photo credit Camila Menendez