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Fall Dance Concert 2022
Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, Swope Music Building
University Dance Company (UDC)
The focus of the UDC is to promote dance as an art form at West Chester University and to provide students with interests in arts administration, choreography, design, performance, and stage management the opportunity to create and shape their voice within this art form. As a member of this organization, students will receive a complete understanding of the workings of a dance company as well as the aspects of being involved in a University organization. UDC has two concerts every season; the fall concert focuses on faculty and guest artist work, while the spring concert mainly presents student choreography and design. Students work with both faculty and guest artists in the creation and management of new choreography and design. Community outreach and service is a component of membership to this organization as it currently is for all professional arts organizations. UDC also offers students the opportunities to attend, present and perform at various conferences annually to add to their dance and movement education.
The University Dance Company is an SSI-sponsored organization.
FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS
Gretchen-Studlien-Webb, faculty director
Gretchen Studlien-Webb, Director, Choreographer, is the coordinator for the dance minor program in the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University. She holds an M.F.A. from Temple University and a B.F.A. from The Ohio State University's Department of Dance. As the advisor for the University Dance Company, she has directed more than 33 full-length concerts and choreographed over 50 dances. Studlien-Webb has taught and presented work internationally at the Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival in Poland (2008 and 2013) and Claremont Project in London, England (2014). Her scholarly research for the past fifteen years often focuses on environmental sustainability which translates into her choreographic compositions; E.A.R.T.H. (Evolution Arises Revealing True Humanity) (2007), Shared Ignorance (2011), Re[F]use (2013), Continuous Cycle (2015), and Environmental Intervention (2016), and Carnival of Ruin (2021). Her work in this concert is the next in this series. Privately Studlien-Webb also enjoys teaching and practicing yoga.
William Ernest D. Burden, guest choreographer
William Ernest D. Burden, Guest Choreographer, began his formal dance training at the Creative & Performing Arts H.S under the direction of Ms. LaDiva Davis. He attended the Rock School of Dance Education and was a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. William has many years of training with Tap Team Two & Company co-directed by his father, Robert Burden. William was a company member with Eleone Dance Connection, Eleone Dance Theater/ Artistic Director Shawn Lamere Williams and Spectrum Dance Theatre under the artistic direction of Mr. Donald Byrd. For more than a few times, William has been the recipient of the Marian Anderson Award in Philadelphia. William received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts.
Samuel Antonio Reyes, guest choreographer
Samuel Antonio Reyes, Guest Choreographer, is a hip-hop theater artist, arts educator, hip-hop dance professor and scholar, Director, producer, and performing artist. For over 22 years Sammy has been a Philadelphia artist and a college professor for several colleges, institutions, and academies of dance throughout the East Coast. Sammy is also a Barrymore Award for excellence in theater choreography many musicals, currently THREE PENNY OPERA and NEWSIES, concert dance pieces, commercials, and industrials for Pepsi, Nike, Reebok, and Coors Light, TD Bank, He also choreographed for radio and TV star Raven-Symone for Hollywood records and for radio Disney and the Disney Channel and ABC. Sammy is currently on staff as the hip-hop Dance culture professor for Muhlenberg College, Lehigh University, Cedar Crest College. Sammy is also the artistic Director for his production company SANBROOKA PRO.
Jon Degaetano, lighting designer
Jon DeGaetano, Lighting Designer, is an artist creating work centered in design, performance, and collaborative making. Most recent work includes Amadeus lighting/set (Ephrata Performing Arts), Breath and Imagination set (Penguin Rep), I Know Exactly What You Mean by Ogemdi Ude projections/interactive media (Danspace NY) Cuando el Fuego Abrassa lighting/set (La Mama), L’Amico Fritz lighting (La Mama), EXHAUSTED creator (The Tank, Darkfest), Unearthly Visitants deviser/designer (Triskelion Arts), Love’s Labour’s Lost, lighting/set (Atlantic Stage 2/NYU), Will They Play Golf on Mars, designer collaborator with Janine Cunningham (Dixon Place), Lacy Rose and her Starling Quartet, lighting/set (HERE Arts). Jon is also in collaboration with Matthew Deinhart in an ongoing series of technology based installation art. MFA Brooklyn College.
STUDENT CHOREOGRAPHERS AND OFFICERS AND STAGE MANAGER
Elizabeth Powell, president, choreographer
Elizabeth Powell, President, Choreographer, is thrilled to return to the stage with UDC as a performer and choreographer in their fall production of Multiplicity. Elizabeth is currently studying music theatre and business management at West Chester University. Her other recent performance highlights include Shrek (Fiona), Footloose (Rusty), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Columbia), The Visit (The Gymnast), and Carnival of Ruin (Emory Spritz). Elizabeth thanks her family, friends, and professors for their endless support of her performance endeavors. Break a leg to the talented cast and crew of Multiplicity!
Tommy Gryga, vice president, choreographer
Tommy Gryga, Vice President, Choreographer, is a senior media and culture major and a dance minor. This is Tommy’s fifth semester with UDC and fourth time choreographing. Throughout his time dancing, Tommy has had the opportunities to play lead roles in ballets such as Don Quixote and Giselle. Tommy has competed at the Youth America Grand Prix and has participated in summer programs at Koresh Dance Company. He has had the privilege of working with artists such as Michael Sheridan, Kim Bears-Bailey, and Tommie-Waheed Evans. Most recently, Tommy has performed in “Carnival of Ruin” directed by Gretchen Studlien-Webb, Maria Urrutia and Constance Case in the roles Lion Tamer and Attendant. Tommy thanks his friends and family for all their support!
Mary Lynch, secretary, choreographer
Mary Lynch, Secretary, Choreographer, is a senior psychology major and dance minor at West Chester University. This is Mary’s fifth semester with UDC and second time choreographing. Although she found her passion for dance later in life, Mary has trained in a variety of dance principles at the Diane Matthews School of Dance Arts for six years. She has also performed with several groups of West Chester Dance Works with one of them being Signature & Training Company, a semi-professional modern dance program. Mary thanks all her family, friends, instructors, and professors for their continuous love, encouragement, and support!
Alexa Lord, treasurer
Alexa Lord, Treasurer, is a senior marketing major who is beyond excited to serve on this year’s executive board for UDC. This is Alexa’s second year at West Chester University and her third semester performing in the dance company. Dancing has always been a part of Alexa’s life as she has danced since the age of three. Alexa also enjoys teaching and choreographing at her local dance studio in Cape May, NJ. At West Chester, Alexa is involved in Greek life as a part of the sorority, Delta Zeta. In her free time, Alexa loves working out and staying active. She thanks all her family, friends, and teachers who have supported her every step of the way!
Sara Magrino, historian
Sara Magrino, Historian, is a junior early grades preparation PreK-4 major with a special education minor. This is her 3rd time performing with the University Dance Company and she has loved serving as the historian so far this year. Sara is a member on the West Chester University Dance Team, serves as the treasurer for Rams for Reading, and serves as the conference chair for the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association. Sara is thankful that she found her passion at such a young age and thanks her incredible family, friends, teachers, and professors for always supporting her dreams!
Madison Hiller, service/social chair
Madison Hiller, Service/Social Chair, is a junior at West Chester University with a middle school preparation major (grades 4-8) and double minor in mathematics and dance. She grew up as a competitive dancer and has performed with UDC since her freshman year. Before college, Madison has experience dancing for the 76ers Junior Dance Team and attending the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive. She is beyond grateful for the opportunities UDC has given her and can’t wait to see what the next two years has in store for her. She thanks her professors, friends, family, and company members for supporting her along the way!
DeYona Archer, choreographer
DeYona Archer, Choreographer, is a senior majoring in exercise science with a concentration in physical therapy. She has been dancing for 18 years, and this is her second year performing with the company. She currently serves as choreographer for the hip hop team, D.R.E.A.M. Team and for the modeling organization, Précise on campus. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, DeYona plans on attending graduate school to receive both her master’s and doctorate degrees in physical therapy. She gives a big thank you to her family and friends who have given her abundant love and support. She also thanks all her cast members and Gretchen on a job well done with the show. And most importantly….1,2,3 D.R.E.A.M.
Madison Bender, choreographer
Madison Bender, Choreographer, is a graduating senior majoring in communication sciences and disorders with a focus in speech pathology. Along with her studies this year, she also works at a behavioral eating clinic where she thoroughly enjoys interacting with children. She has been dancing for 18 years and this is her second year in the company. Before college, Madison was captain of her dance team at Freedom High School and danced at MJSODA. She thanks everyone who is a part of UDC for their support and friendship. Lastly, she thanks her family for their love and support.
Brianna Breschard, choreographer
Brianna Breschard, Choreographer, is a third year communication sciences and disorders major with a dance and American sign language minor. This is her fifth semester of being a part of the University Dance Company. She has been dancing for 17 years in various styles. Before college, Brianna was a part of Freehold Performing Arts Center magnet program at Howell High School in New Jersey. Big thanks to Gretchen, Maria, and Liz for letting her imagination come to life. She also thanks her mom, dad, brother, friends, and the University Dance Company that supported her along the way.
Julianna Fiore, choreographerJulianna Fiore, Choreographer, is a senior early grades preparation major and dance minor at West Chester University. Julianna has been a part of UDC for five semesters and this fall is her second time choreographing for the show. Before college, Julianna trained in modern and jazz at Radomile Academy of Dance in Haverford, Pa. She is grateful for the opportunities WCU and UDC have given her to continue her dance training and be a part of such a wonderful and creative community. Julianna is excited to showcase her final piece with UDC, Courage, Dear Heart: a representation of reminiscing on the past and finding hope for the future.
Myah Sarwar, choreographer
Myah Sarwar, Choreographer, is a senior business management major, with minors in dance performance and French; graduating December 2022. Her passion for dance began at a young age, and she plans to continue dancing no matter where life takes her. This is her 9th semester performing with UDC and she previously served as the organization's service/social chair. This is Myah's 4th time choreographing for a UDC concert, and she is grateful for the opportunity to share her piece this semester! She thanks her friends, family, cast members, and faculty for supporting her throughout the creative process.
The WCU Dance program in the Department of Theatre and Dance currently offers two scholarships:
- The Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M’73 Dance Scholarship
- 2022-2023 recipients: Julianna Fiore and Holly McMenamin
- The Emerging Dance Minor Scholarship
- 2022 recipients: (Spring 2022) Brianna Breschard
Donations received would increase the amount of funds awarded to students each year. Contact the WCU Foundation at 610-436-2868 for more information or mail a check to:
Dance Program Endowment Fund 2475-852
P.O. Box 541
West Chester, PA 19381
Please include Dance Program Endowment Fund 2475-852 on the memo line.