Susannah Keita

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Dance conference turns into final curtain call

March 27, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

A group of seniors in the Dance Department felt blessed to have been at the American College Dance Association’s West Conference when they found out about the cancellation of their final Spring Dance Concert. They got to perform together one last time after being chosen for the conference’s gala. “The seniors in the cast, knowing it was their last performance as members of GCU’s Ethington Dance Ensemble, gave their most heartfelt performances to date. It was a bittersweet moment, to be sure,” said Susannah Keita, Director of the Dance Department.

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Dancers’ feats celebrated in Black History Month

February 26, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Black History Month in February celebrates the impact African Americans have had on history, and the Dance Department in the College of Fine Arts and Production also views it as a time to recognize the accomplishments of students and alumni of color. Whether they are participating in productions celebrating black history or paving the way for others, there’s no shortage of talented dancers.

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Dance graduate to share art, faith in New Zealand

February 12, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Since graduating from with her degree in dance last April, Hannah Croft has followed the path God has created for her — even if it takes her out of the country. Croft will travel to New Zealand in April with the Messengerz Dance Company & Ministry to teach the Gospel through dance during an Easter camp.

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Dance Department ‘ReInvents’ tradition at concert

December 05, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

It has been a good 10 years so far for the College of Fine Arts and Production’s Dance Department. Audiences can witness the growth and art the department has created over the years at the “ReInvent” Winter Dance Concert, scheduled for Friday through Sunday at Ethington Theatre.

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Dance Department presents at national conference

November 20, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Dance Director Susannah Keita is passionate about exposing students to dance education and their options in dance outside of just studio classes. That is why she and senior dance students Justine Bach and Carissa Eubank presented their work in the Arizona community through the Elementary Dance Tour program at this year’s National Dance Education Organization conference in Miami. “It was exciting to see different ways to incorporate other subjects into dance but also maintaining the integrity of dance and what you have in your classroom,” Eubank said.

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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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