Contemporary Dance Program honored with national recognition from ACDA


Courtesy of Keith Costa

(Left to right) Elizabeth Birkel, Trinity Brown, Kairah Senegal and Keith “Skip” Costa posing with a smile at at the ACDA, American College Dance Association, South Central Region Conference in March 2023 hosted by Sam Houston State University.

Southeastern’s Contemporary Dance Program received national recognition at the American College Dance Association, with faculty choreography selected for their prestigious ACDA’s 50th Anniversary Gala this past March. 

In attendance from SLU’s program were director of dance Keith ‘Skip’ Costa and students Elizabeth Birkel, Trinity Brown and Kairah Senegal. 

This year was very special since it was ACDA’s fiftieth-anniversary conference. Southeastern’s Contemporary Dance Program has been in attendance at this conference for over 30 years.

There were 21 universities attending the conference from Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, and Louisiana, showcasing 39 dances that faculty, students and guest artists choreographed. 

Each university performed one faculty work and one student work in a concert formal, which was adjudicated in front of a panel of established dance professionals in the field from all over the country who gave feedback and selected the top 12 dances for the prestigious gala. Costa’s dance was put on stage as the faculty work and Brown’s was used as the student work. 

Southeastern also showed Birkel’s work in the informal concert as well. 

Costa’s faculty choreography “Mercy and Grace” was selected for ACDA’s 50th Anniversary Gala and was performed by Birkel and Brown.

Birkel and Brown performing Costa’s dance Mercy and Grace at the ACDA. (Courtesy of Crystal Schayot Rutherford)

Costa also taught a masterclass at the conference.

“I was so humbled by the honor, especially seeing that several of the other universities had two dances in the gala, which put Southeastern within the Top Seven universities selected,” said Costa. “Another thing to note is that a lot of the other universities offer a BA, BFA, MA or MFA in Dance, and we only have a dance minor or concentration within the General Studies degree, yet our students performed so professionally and beautifully.”

For further info on Southeastern’s Contemporary Dance Program, please contact [email protected].