Christal Brown teaching

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.

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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 

DMA-Music 

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 

 

Jocelyn Marencik '23 BFA Art

Commencement Profile: Jocelyn Marencik

Jocelyn Marencik 

BFA-Studio Art: New Media and Design, 

Minor in Computer Science 

Hometown: Glen Allen, Virginia 

 

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

 I have had an interest in computing, including both its logical programming side and its creative design side, for a large portion of my life. After taking several coding, web development, and digital arts classes in high school, I knew I wanted to continue on this path in college. 

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

This is a community of kind people coming together to share their interests and to learn from one another. The university also has programs that focus on community service and offer volunteer opportunities at events, including the Leadership Challenge and the National Residence Hall Honorary. I also brought my initiative, Got Tec, which donates needed technology equipment to underserved and underfunded local schools, with me to the Greensboro area as part of my community service. 

You are also receiving a Minor in Computer Science. How does that fit with your Art degree? 

I am passionate about balance, and especially the balance between the logic of programming and the creativity of the arts, coming together to create digital interactivity. The Computer Science minor helped me think in a structured way and explore algorithms and logical processes that could be applied to creative projects, including web design and development, and online interactive experiences.

How was your experience at CVPA/UNCG a good fit for you? 

The courses I have taken within my New Media and Design major educated me on industry standards, such as the Adobe Suite, as well as other software including p5.js and WordPress. I have also improved my communication and professional skills, both verbally and through writing, including critiques and artist statements. 

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

 I loved being able to find smaller groups within UNCG and the Greensboro community, that share interests and are willing to listen and give feedback to each other. In my freshman year, I was part of a living-learning community in my residence hall, focused on giving back, leadership, and attending volunteer opportunities. I have also participated in organizations over my years here, focused on academics like STARS (Students in Technology, Academia, Research, and Service) on visual arts, such as the UNCG Artists’ Guild, and on social communities, such as the UNCG Gaming and eSports Club. 

What are your future plans? 

After graduation I will be working for Genworth Financial, a company with which I interned this past summer. I’ll be on a Web Design and Development team as a part of Genworth’s IT Development Program.  

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

I have learned to step forward and ask for feedback when possible. Hearing others’ perspectives is helpful with any project, including creative and programming projects. It may also lead to expanding my list of connections. 

What is your advice for current or future Spartans? 

Get involved as soon as possible, but also strive for balance and don’t overwhelm yourself! Look for smaller student groups within the larger community.  

 and organizations that fit your interests best, both socially and academically. You’ll be able to make friends across majors and serve the UNCG community by volunteering together at events.   

Story by Terri W. Relos

Photo credit: Jocelyn Marencik