Awards and Achievements

Over the last dozen years, CSUF has been chosen to perform at the American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. every time they have entered work, beginning in 2003. This unparalleled record demonstrates the strength, intensity, and depth of the Dance program and the incredible talent of the students of the program who continue to shape the future of the dance.


Dancers from the acclaimed work "August"

The California State University, Fullerton Dance Program has been invited to perform August at Jacob’s Pillow on August 25 on the Inside/Out American College Dance National Gala Highlights Concert. After being selected to dance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the CSUF Dance program is one of only four programs, out of the over five hundred in the country, to be chosen to perform at Jacob’s Pillow, the iconic American dance performance venue. This opportunity is an immense honor for our dancers and our CSU, Fullerton Dance Program.

Under the direction of Professor Debra Noble, the performances from Jonathan Kim, Andrew Corpuz, Kevin Lopez and Chris Jensen, prompted the Dance Magazine panelists Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Jennifer Stahl and Lisa Traiger to add a special honorable mention for the ensemble:

"This quartet, set against a spacious and storied relationship to the music, engages the performers’ delicacy, strength and presence in a breathtaking, swirling choreography. They were an amazingly sensitive group able to create huge emotional shifts. The dancing had a complexity and directness giving us a challenging message, both culturally and personally. Exactly what dance can do!” - Elizabeth Johnson, Darrel Jones and Katiti King (2016 Baja Regional ACDA Conference adjudicators )

“Our honorable mention for performance went to an ensemble of four men from California State University, Fullerton, for the way each dancers’ focus, intention and movement quality all heightened the strong, joyful energy shared among the cast.”
- Jennifer Stahl, Editor-in-Chief, Dance magazine


"West, East, South,then North"

The Dance Program at Cal State Fullerton is again proud to announce that they have been chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. June 5-7 as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival. 

The CSUF work was chosen as one of only two out of 42 different works from over 30 universities at the Northwest regional ACDFA. This prestigious honor was given for our dancers performance of West, East, South, then North, choreographed by guest choreographer Jonathan Fredrickson, and performed by Kristin Licera, Brianna Le, Valerie Oga, and Kendall Russo. 

Accolades such as this help to reaffirm the risk that students take by choosing such a difficult career path. It gives their parents a special reward for all of the support they have given their children in pursuit of their passion for the art of dance. It also sends them a strong message that they have the talent, the focus and the drive to be successful in the professional world of dance. 

Serving as adjudicators were international dance luminaries Bebe Miller, Zvi Gothenier and Susan Douglas-Roberts. They spoke highly of the work we presented and their performers saying the following:

“What a glorious dance! Holding some many pleasures for the audience. It was as if the four dancers were finding the cardinal points inside their own bodies. The opening is etched in my mind. The four dancers seemed to watch each other into motion. The dancing was achingly beautiful! I was weeping a little at the end. It was that divine.”

— Susan Douglas-Roberts

"A pleasure, pleasure! Beautiful, beautiful! Danced so beautifully! There was a depth that went beyond the floor as if the earth was helping to shape this work. The work has so many really remarkable touches. The dancers ensemble performance came from deep within their own body giving each other focus.”  — Bebe Miller

“I could not write right away after seeing this piece. I was so moved, reduced…As a maker of dances it was very important for me to see this work. It was if the piece took place before the Big Bang. Before everything split apart. When there was a togetherness of the cosmos. A celestial oneness before everything fragmented into West, East, South and North directions. The work is so beautifully made, spiritual and poetic. The end is beautiful and metamorphic of right before the particles going further apart. The dancers blew my mind!  They took the movement beyond the physical edge.” — Zvi Gothenier


CSUF dancers performing "Vitals"

The Dance Program at Cal State Fullerton has once again achieved the honor of being chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival 2012. This prestigious honor was given to our dancers for their performance of Vitals, choreographed by guest choreographer and CSUF alum Mike Esperanza. The dancers were Tracy Bernardo, Cole Clemens, Melanie Hansel, Kelly Johnson, Mary Angeline Medenas, Elyse Mottaz, Devin Oshiro, and Lauren Zimmerer. 

Serving as adjudicators for the West Regional 2012 Festival were Kay Anderson former soloist with the Nikolais & Murray Louis Company, Susan Hadley former principal dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group and James Sutton principal dancer with the Houston Ballet and Chicago Ballet companies. They spoke highly of the work and the performers saying the following:

“The piece was deeply invested in its investigation, deeply invested in its rehearsal, and deeply invested in its performance. It was a total package!” — Kay Anderson
“This piece was phenomenal! Its intention was clear from the first moment that they began to move. These dancers danced through the skin, to the belly of the muscle and then through to the bone within! They were predatory, it was like hungry dancing.”
— Susan Hadley       
“This work was remarkable! I loved the dancer’s commitment to the piece, which is rare. They were highly activated in their stillness. I was engaged throughout. I loved how the dancers motions would affect the space. The space had weight, it had energy. A really powerful work.” — James Sutton


CSUF dancers performing "Corvidae"

California State University, Fullerton Department of Theatre & Dance has announced that the Dance Program achieved the honor of being chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival May 27, 28, and 29, 2010. This prestigious honor was given to their dancers for their performance of Corvidae choreographed by guest choreographer Colin Connor. The six dancers were Kindra Chenier, Cassandra Cole, Melanie Hansel, Kathryn Lawson, Bobby Neal, and Sara Vincent. Their performance was chosen out of 52 different works from over 30 universities from throughout the Southwest Region.

The dancers overcame many challenges to bring the power, depth, and artistry of the choreography to the audience. They reached beyond themselves to perform with strength and vulnerability. They were able to communicate the layers of the choreography and speak to the magic of our humanity. Cal State Fullerton is extremely proud of all of them.

Serving as adjudicators were the legendary Bill Evans, Robin Wilson (founder of Urban Bush Women) and Peter DiMuro (former member of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.) They spoke highly of the work and the performers saying the following:

“I was thrilled that you broke the fourth wall. The piece brought us into a private new world”
— Peter DiMuro

“I was very moved…I saw mystery. Each person had his own voice. I was utterly intrigued. A very strong and compelling work.” — Robin Wilson

“I was very satisfied by this work. I needed and wanted to see it again. The choreography completely transformed the space and time. A tightly knit ensemble. Bold, confident, powerful dancing. …powerful classically grounded technique. A lovely disturbing piece.” — Bill Evans


California State University, Fullerton’s Dance Program was one of four Southwest region universities selected to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. following regional dance competitions at the American College Dance Festival Association’s regional festival in Scottsdale, Arizona. The national festival was held June 1-3, 2004. 

This prestigious honor was earned by CSUF’s dancers Sherionne Cassell-Coleman, F. Nicholas Factoran, Tiffany Jones, Courtney Ozovek, Crystal Regueiro and Steven DiSchiavi for their performance of the dance piece, CELLS, choreographed by CSUF alum Michael Esperanza.  Their performance was selected out of 54 different works from over 30 universities from throughout the Southwest Region.

This is the second year in a row that CSUF’s program was chosen to perform at the Regional Gala Concert, but this is a CSUF first to be selected to perform at the Kennedy Center. In addition to this honor, CSUF dance student Stephen DiSchiavi achieved further recognition by receiving the Best Performer Award. 

The Southwest regional dance professionals who served as adjudicators spoke highly of CSUF’s work and the performers saying the following:

“Mysteriously dramatic and beautifully danced.”
— Stephen Koester

“Brilliant performing by entire ensemble. They created a poetic resonance on stage.”
— Doug Elkins                                        

“They created a world for me to enter.” 

— Kevin Wynn
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Last Published 10/9/19

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