Susannah Keita

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COFAP draws on industry guests for student success

September 05, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

The College of Fine Arts and Production gives students many opportunities to connect with industry professionals. Students from multiple programs in the college have a chance to engage with guest dance artists and directors, scene designers and a professional drone cinematographer, to name a few. “I think it has to do with our push and our goal of helping our students succeed once they leave here,” said Claude Pensis, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production. “It’s a matter of really trying to use every tool that we could possibly get to help them make contacts, to help them get to know industry professionals in the Valley and hopefully to be interviewed by them and find jobs.”

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Dance program is in tune with jazz curriculum

August 16, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Jazz preservation, That’s what Dance Director Susannah Keita and the rest of GCU’s Dance department hope to accomplish by putting such a strong emphasis on jazz dance within their program. Few Dance programs offer jazz dance to their students, making GCU’s dance program a unique and sought after program for students looking to study jazz dance. Recently Keita was even able to present at the National Dance Education Organization’s jazz conference this summer. “We want our dancers to be prepared for the commercial dance world and the concert dance world,” Keita said. “Jazz can be in either.”

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Dance graduates glide into the professional world

June 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Breaking into the professional world can be difficult, especially in the arts. But even with their graduation from GCU fresh on their minds, several dance alumni already are thriving in their first big jobs. “I hope that the world receives them and loves them as much as we have here,” Dance Director Susannah Keita said. “I’m a proud dance mom.”

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Dance Intensive gets students jazzed about college

June 18, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

This Year’s dance intensive is in full swing this week as about 20 dancers, aged 14-21, come to campus to get the full experience of what a university dance department is like. Students will be taught multiple forms of dance including jazz, modern and ballet just to name a few. “They are go-getters, they’re often quite talented, quite skilled, have been really serious about dance,” Dance Director Susannah Keita said. “And it is really exciting when they come and audition for the program and we recognize them and we know them already.”

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Dance instructor brings tap-infused mystery to stage

May 23, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Suzy Guarino-Hall, a tap instructor for the dance program, is producing “Murder at the TAP’Ocho,” which will incorporate tap dancing with singing and a storyline and debuts Sunday in Mesa. The show will feature several GCU students and alumni as well as Director of Dance Susannah Keita. “This is literally going to be the best show we’ve ever done,” Guarino-Hall said.

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Spring Dance Concert ready to POP into Ethington

April 08, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Who needs to end the semester with a BANG if you could end it with a POP? The Spring Dance Concert premieres Friday and will be the final production at Ethington Theatre for the semester. Audiences can expect to hear an array of music of multiple musical icons and genres over the decades. Students will be performing contemporary, tap, ballet as well as classical jazz throughout the production. “There is something for everyone,” faculty member Kevin Godfrey-Chevalier said. Start times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

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Dance program makes big splash at conference

March 22, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

For the seventh year in a row, the Dance Department has successfully had a piece selected to be featured in the American College Dance Association’s West Region gala. Three pieces of choreography were chosen for the weeklong conference, and Madison Knutson’s “The Sun Will Rise, and We Will Too” was among the 10 featured works in the gala. “I think it’s a testament to the strength of our program, which is still under 10 years old,” said Susannah Keita, Director of Dance.

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