National honors given to San Jacinto College dance program

HOUSTON The Letting Go, a duet choreographed by guest artist Michelle Manzanales, was adjudicated and selected by a panel of nationally recognized dance artists and educators to represent the South Central Region of ACDFA. Clarissa Hooper and Seth McPhail, San Jacinto College students pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in dance, performed the duet. Additional honors were bestowed upon Hooper, who was nominated for the Dance Magazine's Outstanding Student Performer for the South Central Region. Each of the ten regions across the United States nominates one student for both a performance award and a choreography award. The award winners will be announced prior to the final national gala performance.

Dr. Patty Haselbarth, San Jacinto College South campus dance program coordinator, spoke of her dancers by saying, "The dancers were excellent ambassadors for San Jacinto College. I am proud of my students. They performed with focus and beauty. I watched Clarissa and Seth struggle through long arduous rehearsals to reach a place of intense beauty. The adjudicators described the dancers as 'having taken them on a journey using an evocative and emotional gestural language.'"

During the five-day conference, the students and faculty participated in daily dance classes and attended five adjudicated concerts, five feedback sessions conducted by the adjudicators, and three informal concerts. Only four dances were chosen for the national gala, out of 52 pieces that were adjudicated, at the regional dance festival. Other schools selected to perform at the national gala include The University of North Texas, The University of Texas, and Tulane University. A total of 25 universities and colleges attended the conference hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University, and a total of 515 participants were registered for the festival. The South Central Region is comprised of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Plans are underway for travel this summer to The Big Apple, where 18 students and faculty will support Clarissa and Seth during their performance at the national gala.

For more information on San Jacinto College and the dance program call 281-998-6150 or visit

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