News Column

ASU Spotlight: Michael Medcalf

May 30, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala., May 30 -- Alabama State University issued the following news release:

Michael Medcalf came to Alabama State University to head the new BFA/Dance program in the fall of 2013. An accomplished performing artist, educator and choreographer, Medcalf quickly began putting his more than 25 years of dance experience to work.

Only a handful of freshmen enrolled in the program when it started, and by the end of the 2013 school year, the total number of majors grew to 18. Now, the number of students who will enter the program this fall has more than tripled.

Admission is becoming increasingly competitive for the growing program, Medcalf said.

"Students must audition to enter the program. This holds true for majors and minors. In February of 2014, we held our first audition and selected students with tremendous potential and talent. When we return in the fall of 2014, we have a total of 55 dance majors and minors," Medcalf said.

Medcalf said the program achieved another huge accomplishment when ASU dancers were selected as the South Regional representatives for the prestigious American College Dance Festival.

"We will perform at the national level at the National American College Dance Festival. The work, "The Need To Be," by assistant professor of dance Kavin Grant, will be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on June 7 by dance majors Jaylon Givan and Lauren Smith," Medcalf said. "This is another amazing opportunity that will showcase the talent of our students and faculty on a national level, bringing attention to our dance program. This is such a tremendous honor."

Medcalf, who dances professionally, said he started dance training at the age of 14 and has never stopped. He received his bachelor's degree in dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and received the MFA degree in dance at the University of Iowa.

When it comes to the students in ASU's dance program, Medcalf wants them to know there are no limits to what they can achieve.

"I tell students to stand in their own dreams and never measure their personal success by the success of the person standing next to them," he said. "Things are always difficult before they become easy. Through these lessons students learn about tenacity, the ability to tough something out and not give up. This is important because if you stay in the game long enough, you will succeed."

ASU is one of only two institutions of higher learning in the state of Alabama - and the nation's only HBCU - to offer the BFA degree specifically in dance.

"ASU's BFA/Dance program is one of the fastest growing programs on campus," Medcalf said. "The potential for the program's continued growth is extraordinary and exciting."

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Source: Targeted News Service

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