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Recent Student Highlights

MFA candidate Darrell Cleveland’s dance, Quick, performed by undergraduate Asiyah Martin, has been selected to perform at the South Central region of ACDFA this March at the University of Texas in Austin.

MFA candidate Morgan Leigh Eisenhauer won the Producer's Pick award at the 2013 Houston Fringe Festival. Morgan presented her work, Erased Duet:Reverse Erased, performed by TWU undergraduates, Katrina Brown and Clery Moss. To read more about Morgan's piece as well as other works at the festival, go to

Undergraduate Ciceley Fullylove’s dance titled What Am I Doing: (#77) has been selected to perform at the Informal Showing at the 2014 South Central region of ACDFA at the University of Texas in Austin

In September of 2013, Erika Record, current MFA candidate, showcased her duet, Into the Light, at the {254} Dance-Festival in Waco, Texas, as well as the Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival in College Station, Texas. In March 2014, Record performed in Associate Professor Sarah Gamblin’s evening-length work, Acts of Absence, at the New Genre Arts Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Melissa Sanderson, MFA '14, performed in Associate Professor Sarah Gamblin’s work, Acts of Absence, in March 2014 at the New Genre Arts Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition, Sanderson’s MFA culminating project, To Kill the Lingering Taste, was selected to perform at the 2014 South Central region of ACDFA at the University of Texas in Austin. Furthermore, Sanderson’s dance film, Skin in the Grass, was selected for the 2014 program at the International Video Dance Festival of Burgundy in Le Creusot, France. After the showing in Le Creusot, her film toured with the program in Lyon, Paris, Italy, Beijing, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Belgrade, Hanoi, Mexico, the United States, and more.


Holly Williams (MFA '94), is the recipient of the 2014 Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Award in recognition of her distinguished career in dance performance and education.

Annabelle Chen (BA '13) won Best Choreography for her work, An Absolutely Absurd…Meal at the 2013 Houston Fringe Festival. Read more about the festival at

Matthew Cumbie (MFA '11, Dance) is a Resident Artist and the Education Coordinator for Dance Exchange in Washington, DC. With Dance Exchange, Matthew engages local and distant communities of all ages through art making, story telling, and performance about environmental and social justice issues, and organizes and facilitates a number of educational experiences in and out of the studio. Upcoming projects of interest with Dance Exchange include a partnership with the George Washington University graduate certificate program on LGBT Health and Wellness, an extended community engagement residency with the city of Takoma Park funded by a NEA Our Town grant, and a commission to make and premiere a new work with local communities connected to the Faces Race conference in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Janice LaPointe-Crump is a current member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Honors committee at Dance Council of North Texas. In 2013, LaPointe-Crump choreographed for The King and I at the Denton Community Theatre. Her presentations in 2013 included “The King and I: Staging a Grand Musical” with Pete Kelly and Arturo Ortega at the University of North Texas, English Country Dances at the Denton Bach Society, and “Ballet Artistry and Technique: Classical and Contemporary Truths” with Elizabeth Gillaspy of TCU at the TAHPERD convention. This year, LaPointe-Crump will have two publications in DANCE! North Texas as well as an article titled, “Performing Classic Choreography: Achieving Artistic Integrity in Ballet Pedagogy” in Dance: Current Research, volume 8. In addition, LaPointe-Crump will be presenting her choreography in Spamalot at Music Theatre Denton in March.

Lacreacia Sanders, 2000 MFA graduate and current Associate Professor of Dance at TCC Northwest received the Dance Educator of the Year award from TAHPERD in 2013. She was also elected to be the new VP Elect for the Dance Division.


Associate Professor Sarah Gamblin has been invited to perform  in two national venues during the 2014 spring performance season. The first is at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York and the second is at the New Genre Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The International Dance Company and Artistic Director, Gladys Keeton, performed in elementary and middle schools in Texarkana, TX, in October, 2013.  The company was hired as a Residency Company by the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council, Inc. Keeton is also coordinating a Dancing with the Stars event for the Denton County United Way.  International Dance Company members are paired with community individuals to create Waltz, Swing, and Cha Cha routines to be performed at the United Tribute, January 18, at the Marriott on Championship Circle.  It is a wonderful collaboration with the community. In addition, Keeton has been invited to write the curriculum for the Dance and Media Communications course to be taught as a new dance course approved by the State Board of Education to be offered in Fall 2015.

Christie Nelson (MFA CalArts ‘10) is on faculty at Texas Woman’s University as well as Collin College and Eastfield College. Currently, Nelson is developing two works with collaborators Rachel Bruce Johnson (TWU, MFA `07) and L. Brooke Schlecte (TWU, MFA `07). These works will be presented with Christie’s collaborative collective Grid Arts, L. Brooke Schlecte’s of Out on a Limb Dance Company, and Ellen Bartel of Spank Dance in an evening of dance performance art, set to premier and tour late Fall 2014 into the 2015 year.

Shelley Padilla, Adjunct Professor of Dance, was selected as one of five participants for Texas Woman's University Hybrid Instruction Project.  Applicants participated in a competitive application process and if selected, committed themselves to attending Hybrid Workshops, Guest Speaking Events and completing the Quality Matters Standard Workshop in the summer of 2013.  Ms. Padilla's participation resulted in the first hybrid course to exist in the TWU Dance Department and was piloted this fall (2013) under the name of Dance History DNCE 3393.50.   The experience was overwhelming positive for students and instructor resulting in the hybrid Dance History course being offered again in fall of 2014.  Shelley Padilla went on to complete the Quality Matters Peer Reviewer Course in December 2013 and will soon be eligible to serve as a peer reviewer for online courses across the nation.

Mary Williford-Shade, Chair and Professor of Dance, has been invited as a performance scholar to perform excerpts of her solo evening, Lit’l Red,  in 2014 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, at the College at Brockport: State University of New York.

2013 Alumni and Student Achievements

2012-2013 Alumni and Student Achievements 

2011-2012 Alumni and Student Achievements

page last updated 2/29/2016 4:56 PM