Susannah Keita

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Fine Arts goes all out to improvise for students

August 25, 2020 / by / 1 Comment

The College of Fine Arts and Production is meeting the effects of the pandemic head-on. Its innovations include outdoor performances, master classes with industry professionals, livestreaming and a little of Disney’s “The Mandalorian” thrown in for good measure. COFAP Dean Claude Pensis calls it a “fun challenge.”

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GCU dance community finds a way to keep creating

August 07, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

Studio space already was hard to come by, even before the pandemic. That’s why nueBOX is working with multiple members of the GCU dance community to offer a safe space to allow them to continue their craft. “I was afraid when I graduated that I’d be counting the days until I could dance again,” said Isiah Johnson, a GCU spring 2020 graduate and nueBOX summer residency recipient. “It’s nice to have it still be as much a part of my schedule as it was before.”

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Dance alumni find support in Zoom meet-ups

July 28, 2020 / by / 0 Comment

In times of struggle birds of a feather fly together; at least that’s how GCU Dance Director Susannah Keita sees it. With the pandemic’s huge impact on the arts community, Keita saw an opportunity to bring dance alums together via Zoom to discuss tips and advice on how to get through the pandemic and continue your career in times of COVID-19.

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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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