Student Testimonies

Ryann Young

Words can not express the amazing impact this department has had on ALL areas of my life! The faculty is truly invested in each and every students personal, technical, and artistic growth. They will challenge you and support you consistently! I am about to go into my senior year, and I am both so sad to be leaving this environment, yet I also feel so excited and prepared for the next step in my career.

Mario Valdez

In all honesty, I arrived here at the UA Little Rock Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Knowing that I wanted to dance! I got here with no knowledge in dance technique, no knowledge in dance etiquette and no knowledge in dance terminology. The Dance Program has various dancing styles that I was never exposed too. They have Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, and Tap. While being here I have been exposed to these various dancing styles and so many more, as guest artists continuously come in to see us and allow us to explore more and more into the world of dance. As a student in the Dance program, I can also say that I have been able to dabble in the world of Theatre. (IT IS AMAZING)
I am only a second-year student here and can attest to one thing that I am for sure about, I have grown! Not only as a dancer but very much so as a person. The program is very welcoming and I am very grateful to all who have taken a roll in helping me grow in this department.

Con toda honestidad, llegué aquí al Departamento de Artes Teatrales y Danzas de UA Little Rock. ¡Sabiendo que quería bailar! Llegué aquí sin conocimiento en técnica de baile, sin conocimiento en etiqueta de baile y sin conocimiento en terminología de baile. El programa de baile tiene varios estilos de baile que nunca estuve expuesto. Tienen ballet, danza moderna, jazz y tap. Estando aquí, he estado expuesto a estos diversos estilos de baile y muchos más, ya que los artistas invitados continuamente vienen a vernos y nos permiten explorar más y más el mundo de la danza. Como estudiante en el programa de danza, también puedo decir que he podido explorar el mundo del teatro. (ES ASOMBROSO)
Solo soy un estudiante de segundo año aquí, y puedo dar fe de una cosa de la que estoy seguro: ¡he crecido! No solo como bailarín, sino también como persona. El programa es muy acogedor y estoy muy agradecido con todos los que me ayudaron crecer en este departamento.

Lizzie Schaefer

I am only a freshman here at UA Little Rock, but I can already say that I have grown and learned so much. I have learned so much more about not only dance but myself as an individual. I was super nervous about coming to college, but the environment of the Theatre and Dance Program here just felt like home. Everyone is so welcoming and loving. We really are one big family! I am so happy with my decision to come to UA Little Rock!

T J Medel

Every time I get asked where I went to college I say with immense honor and pride: The University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Their faces of shock and awe are priceless and I wish you were all around me for it. I take with me our philosophies and work ethic and wear it on my sleeve. I wouldn’t have been awarded all of the accolades and opportunities if it weren’t for all of you.

You guys let me fly while at the same time grounded me with discipline. Each day I get tested on my journey. There are days that I wanted to quit. That I wanted to give up. That I want to pack it all up and go home and just find a 9-5 for stability because eating ramen packets 3-5 times a day is bullsh##. I’ve asked myself if I’m good enough. I’ve done so many shows wondering what the hell am I doing here?!?!

But then I think about the all-nighters in the design lab. Being in tech and going straight into a run because of snow days. Watching injured dancers go to their rehearsals still trying to pick up their choreography. Striking sets and resetting the stages. Having heated debates about artistic choices and seeing what those conversations have done to my relationships. Sleeping in my car knowing that I had an early call time for a rental the next morning. Flooding (that has happened so many times at some of the theaters that I think its a theater ghost haunting me)

You prepared me so well for this part of my life that I don’t even know if Thank You is the right phrase to say to show my gratitude. I work hard to make us proud. I work hard to make sure that the program gets recognized. I work hard so that maybe I can send some students your way.

I tell them about the program, the people, the environment, the experience, the discipline, the freedom….they begin to see it. I love all of you and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for educating me. I am a better man and a stronger artist because of you. Please don’t stop teaching.

Dariane Mull

“I just wanted to say thank yo so much for all being such amazing professors and mentors throughout my time at UALR. Words cannot express how thankful I am for all the support, skills, and knowledge each of you have given me. Thank you for pushing me and challenging me, for making me cry, smile (or stop smiling), get frustrated and jump for joy. It has all been more than worth it and I have come out stronger, more resilient, and more resourceful than I ever really expected out of myself. Also, thank you for inspiring me through your teaching and your work.”

Heidee Alsdorf

There are simply not enough hours in the day or days in the week to seize every opportunity available! My name is Heidee Alsdorf and I am a proud alum of the Arkansas Arts Academy (2011). Currently, I am majoring in Dance Performance with a minor in Theatre at UALR. My experiences at the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance have either encouraged or directly facilitated every opportunity I’ve had to travel and perform. In my first two years as a major, I performed for local charity events, danced at historic sites like the Arkansas Dreamland Ballroom, and toured through New York and Baltimore with a group of my peers and one of our inspiring professors, Stephanie Thibeault. Here, I am surrounded by passionate individuals who share my dream and engage with me as we learn about the art and science of dance. Here, our dreams are made tangible!

Gabrielle Confer

Choosing to pursue a degree in Dance Performance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The faculty and staff really care about me as an individual. They have opened my mind to the world of theatre arts and dance and I could not be more grateful for the education and opportunities I have received here. I will be confident knowing I have gotten my education here and that they will always be there to help me, even after I have graduated!

Brittany Denman

My experience in the Dance department at UALR has been an amazing one so far. My favorite part about it besides the fact I get to dance everyday are the professors. I recently had a loved one pass away and they have been so supportive. They are understanding, and I honestly feel very loved by the faculty. I would recommend this program to anyone who has an interest in dance. I feel like I finally fit in with these amazing, goofy people that are beautiful dancers!

Danny Jimenez

I came into this department with little theater work and knowledge, and absolutely no dance training. Over the past 4 years, this department has opened my eyes to the rich culture and depth of theater and dance, as well as the significant impact these arts have played throughout history. The faculty here have all lived through the shoes of the starving artist and truly care about what they’re doing. I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to study under such fine instructors; It’s thanks to them that I can see an obtainable future for me in the arts.

Regina Lewis

UALR has given me the tools to build a foundation, learn creative and productive habits, and supplied a mentoring faculty that prepares me to carry these skills with me in the professional world of dance.

Ashley Mahan

My experience in the UALR dance department has been incredible. They have provided me with ample opportunities to grow as a dancer and choreographer. My professors are more than just teachers; they are my mentors and my fellow dancers are my family.

Shalondra Martin

Choosing dance as my major at UALR (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) has been one of the best decisions I have made. The dance professors in the department are very knowledgeable, passionate about the field of dance and dedicated to see me grow as a dancer. In this program I study ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. The department provides and promotes many opportunities to learn and develop in dance; such as making it possible to attend events like ACDA (American College Dance Association). Also the department has brought in amazing guest artists for dance workshops. So far I have attended the African & the Contemporary dance workshop which were so much fun. I am excited about hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris coming to instruct a workshop and choreograph a dance performance that will be presented in our annual spring concert. This is my second year here and I look forward to performance opportunities and as well as my future choreography opportunities.

Brandy Mimms

As a Dance Major at University of Arkansas at Little Rock so far have been the most challenging and exciting experience. The Dance and Theatre faculties work very hard preparing their students for their future professional careers. Choosing UALR to pursue my BFA in Dance is the best investment I ever made.

Trent Montgomery

Throughout my semesters as a Dance Performance major, I have had some of the most phenomenal experiences that would not be an option at most universities. For instance, I have made connections with emerging companies and choreographers, refined my technique and artistry by attending classes by the talented faculty, performed in various concerts with various choreographers, performed in New York and Baltimore, attended the Paul Taylor Winter Intensive in New York twice, and best of all, received a scholarship to study dance abroad at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy this semester (I am typing this in Italy at this moment). I cannot fully explain how becoming a student of the department has affected me. Everything offered by this program is worth it, and the rewards from attending this department are far greater than anything that anyone can imagine.

Denisse Ollivier

“Coming to UALR has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. The department gave me a warm welcome, and every day I feel like I’m part of this family. Everyone is so close to each other, and it feels like a safe zone. I’m constantly learning, and my teachers are very concerned with my personal growth. They push me and encourage me to do my very best. I have come to discover new things about myself, such as what I am capable of, as I interact with the wonderful crew we have here at UALR.”

Jahna Powell

Always follow your dreams and you will succeed.

John Rolon

My time at UALR has ben amazing. I feel myself being pushed to be the best I can be by not only the professors, but my fellow peers as well. Plus, with a show ever semester, I have a chance to experience auditions and performances more often. It’s a great program full of awesome people!

Leila Rosenkrans

“Coming to the Dance and Theatre Department at UALR has been one of the best decisions I have made. Everyone here is like a big family. They know your name and your face, and even more, they care about you and your success. The faculty is both extremely talented and passionate, and it is a wonderful opportunity to be in class with them. If you want to make a career in theatre or dance happen, UALR is the place to come.”

Priscilla Webb

My experience in the UALR dance department has been one which only grows with time. There are so many paths to choose from in taking the next step towards your future and I can confidently say I made the right one. The people in this program, both student and faculty are the best you can hope to share you time and effort with. If you have the conviction and are willing to open your horizons there is a rich environment to be delved into. The people you get the opportunity to meet and work with, the experience and enthusiastic attitudes brought to every day’s work by everyone present, and the realization of how much more is there for you to discover are what make this program what it is. It may be small now but the people and works coming out of this program speak volumes about what we’re made of.

Blake Worthey

The program has shown me how powerful art can be. In my time here I’ve gotten to study the dance technique of Martha Graham and it has helped me grow into becoming a thinking artist.

Please share your testimony and experience at the UA Little Rock Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.


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