UNCSA to host Festival of Dance March 1-3

The School of Dance at UNCSA will host the 2024 UNCSA Festival of Dance (formerly the Festival of North Carolina Dance) on its Winston-Salem campus Friday, March 1, through Sunday, March 3.

More than 600 students from 37 schools, studios and companies across the state are expected to attend, coming from towns and cities including Asheville, Boone, Statesville, Monroe and Wilmington, as well as the Triad and the Triangle.

“We’re thrilled that the Festival of Dance keeps growing in size and esteem,” said UNCSA School of Dance Dean Endalyn T. Outlaw. “As this state’s dedicated conservatory for the arts, UNCSA is honored and privileged to host this annual gathering of our statewide dance community. Embracing the beauty of diversity in dance, we share our journeys through the language of movement and celebrate the transformative power of the art form."

School of Dance Dean Endalyn T. Outlaw

School of Dance Dean Endalyn T. Outlaw

“Festival is a special time of year for the UNCSA School of Dance to connect with dance studios and schools across the state of North Carolina,” said Festival Co-Director Robert Gosnell, an alumnus who is also the assistant director of the Summer Dance Intensive. “It is also a great recruiting tool for UNCSA, as the School of Dance has drawn participants from the festival to become students here.

“I participated in the festival before I came here as a Dance student, which led to me being invited to be on faculty,” he continued. “Then I became the co-director to (retired faculty member) Dayna Fox, and I am now working beside one of my peers, alumna Taryn Griggs, who is co-director. So, being able to give back in this way is very meaningful to me personally.”

The festival will include three days filled with master classes, workshops and performances for students and professional development workshops for teachers and directors.

Festival Co-Director Robert Gosnell

Festival Co-Director Robert Gosnell

“The students will participate in several master class genres: ballet, contemporary, pointe, pre-pointe, jazz, musical theater and creative practice, just to name some,” Gosnell said. “Directors will have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops that deal with audition tips for their students, ballet competition tips, costuming and dance photography.”

Full-time Dance faculty members, adjunct faculty members, and Preparatory Dance Program faculty members are serving as anchors for the festival faculty, Gosnell said. “Our guest artists are mostly alums of the school, which is always nice,” he added.

Other benefits offered by the festival include the opportunity to attend the (now sold-out) UNCSA Winter Dance performance, Feb. 29-March 3, at the Freedman Theatre of Performance Place, and the chance to register for a special audition for the UNCSA Summer Dance Intensive. Approximately 300 of the participants already have.

The festival will culminate on Sunday, March 3, with two gala performances of selected companies, chosen through an adjudication process, for festivalgoers and their families.

“Speaking on behalf of Taryn and myself,” Gosnell said, “UNCSA has a special place of our heart, and we just want everyone to experience this special place here in the state of North Carolina. After all, we wouldn’t be where we are today without what we learned here.”

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

February 27, 2024