Adopt the Kent Dance Ensemble | Kent State University

Adopt the Kent Dance Ensemble

The Kent Dance Ensemble, Kent State's pre-professional dance company, will take 11 members to study in Florence, Italy during the summer of 2017.

Under the direction of KDE Artistic Director Kim Karpanty, the Ensemble  study, choreograph and perform in Florence through the 14-day intensive program OPEN FLR (http://openflr.net). OPEN FLR aligns with the international goals of the College of the Arts and Kent State University and "aim[s] to offer an educational opportunity, with high professional standards, for a very accessible cost. OPENFLR aims to create an exchange platform between young and experienced dancers, between choreographers and young professionals from different backgrounds, to broaden and deepen curiosity into dance and to enrich personal knowledge with new experiences."

The dancers will have the opportunity to study new techniques, collaborate in creating new site-specific work with other young professionals from around the globe and perform their own choreography and that of internationally known choreographers and Kent State faculty. 

The Kent Dance Ensemble is the pre-professional student dance company of the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University. The School's Dance Division created the Kent Dance Ensemble (KDE) in 1990 to promote professionalism, motivation, recruitment, education and ambassadorship, and to give the selected members a professional atmosphere in which to prepare for careers as performers, choreographers, directors, educators and scholars. KDE members are chosen by audition and are evaluated each semester in the areas of professionalism, creative contribution and personal endeavor. Professor Kim Karpanty has served as Artistic Director of the Ensemble since 1996. In 1998 she initiated the Student Artistic Director leadership position and established the KDE annual concert as part of the School of Theatre and Dance main stage production season. In 2000 the Ensemble began performing work by commissioned guest artists in addition to that of KSU faculty. The Kent Dance Ensemble celebrated its 25th Anniversary in April 2015. 


ADOPT THE KENT DANCE ENSEMBLE

In preparation for their study abroad experience, the Kent Dance Ensemble is hosting a "Adopt the Kent Dance Ensemble" initiative to defray the costs of the experience. Your support of this program will benefit all dance students involved and assist in providing for daily training, housing, program fees and cultural excursions.

Donation Levels

$501 - $1,000: Solid Gold

Perks
Donors at this level will receive a handwritten Thank You note with a photo of the dancers, a postcard from Italy, an "I Support the Arts" pen, a KDE t-shirt and your name in the KDE and OPEN FLR/Italy performance programs.

$301 - $500: Dancing with the Stars

Perks
Donors at this level will receive a handwritten Thank You note with a photo of the dancers, a postcard from Italy, an "I Support the Arts" pen and your name in the KDE and OPEN FLR/Italy performance programs.

$151 - $300: Soul Train

Perks
Donors at this level will receive a handwritten Thank You note with a photo of the dancers, a postcard from Italy, an "I Support the Arts" pen and your name in the KDE and OPEN FLR/Italy performance programs.

$76 - $150: America's Best Dance Crew

Perks
Donors at this level will receive a handwritten Thank You note with a photo of the dancers, a postcard from Italy and an "I Support the Arts" pen.

$75: So You Think You Can Dance

Perks
Donors at this level will receive a handwritten Thank You note with a photo of the dancers and an "I Support the Arts" pen.

Make Your Tax Deductible Contribution


Meet the Dancers

L. Taylor Ashton is a senior BFA Dance major in Performance at Kent State University and a second year member of the KDE. She has performed in faculty and student choreographed concerts and at the American College Dance Association adjudication and Gala concerts in the East Central Region. She serves as the Student Dance Education Organization President and is an active member of the School of Theatre and Dance honorary fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. She is a founding member of East Meets West International collaboration program and recently presented research on her experience in Thailand at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in Washington, DC. L. Taylor has been honored with School of Theatre and Dance awards, including Emerging Leader, Emerging Artist, Creative Achievement and SDEO peer award for Outstanding Choreographer. 

Ashley Buersmeyer is a senior BFA Dance in Performance and has performed in all faculty and student choreographed concerts at Kent State University. She was privileged to perform her original solo “Invisible Red Thread” at the American College Dance Association Informal conference in March 2016. Ashley is a member of the Kent Dance Ensemble, an active member of Alpha Psi Omega – Beta Psi Cast, and is the secretary of the Student Dance Education Organization – Kent State Chapter. She has been honored with the “Emerging Artist” award and has made the Dean’s List every semester. Ashley hopes to further her education with studies in physical therapy and eventually open a studio to work with children of all ages.

Madison DeLong is a third year member of the Kent Dance Ensemble and has been a featured performer in guest artist works by Garth Fagan and Stephanie Martinez. She is the 2016-2017 KDE Student Artistic Director. She has appeared in all faculty and student choreographed concerts since her freshman year, and has performed at the American College Dance Association regional conferences. Maddie has served as VP and Treasurer for the Student Dance Education Organization, is an active member of Alpha Psi Omega- Beta Psi Cast and has been placed on Dean’s List each semester. She is the recipient of several awards including Emerging Leader (2014, 2015), the May O’Donnell Memorial Award (2015) and the Kent Dance Ensemble Peer Award (2016). Maddie is a founding member of East Meets West and plans to move to Philadelphia to perform upon graduation. 

Devan Hayes is a senior at Kent State University and member of the Kent Dance Ensemble. She has performed in numerous Faculty Dance Concerts and Student Dance Festivals during her tenure at Kent. She received a scholarship to attend Garth Fagan’s Summer Movement Institute in 2015 and attended the 2016 José Limón Summer Workshop. She is an active member of the Student Dance Education Organization and Alpha Psi Omega-Beta Psi Cast. She was awarded the Dance Division faculty award in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Growth and Development. Devan will pursue a professional dance career in performance and community outreach after graduation with a BFA degree in Dance.

Michaela Henry is a senior BFA Dance Major in Performance at Kent State and a first year-member of the Kent Dance Ensemble. She has performed in every faculty and student dance concert while in college and had the honor of serving as the Student Director of the 2016 Student Dance Festival: WE16TLESS.  Michaela has been on the Dean’s List every semester of her college tenure and is the recipient of the Kathryn E. Mihelick Award (2015), the Xavier Atienza Dance Scholarship for summer study (2016) and the Samuel Stillings Memorial Scholarship for Leadership (2016). She is a member of the Student Dance Education Organization–Kent State Chapter and Alpha Psi Omega–Beta Cast. Michaela is ecstatic to travel to Florence, Italy and work with international choreographers and dancers.

Olivia Hulsey is a Junior BFA Dance major in Performance, and a second year member of the Kent Dance Ensemble where she has danced in works by faculty and guest artists Emily Jeffries (Berlin, GER) and MamLuft&Co. Dance (Ohio). She is an active member in the Student Dance Education Organization and in Alpha Psi Omega, the honors fraternity for theatre and dance. In addition to her dancing Olivia has been recognized by Kent State University for her academics by making the Dean’s List and receiving the University Award from the College of the Arts. She is very excited for what is in store for her with opportunities provided to her by the Ensemble.

Mackenzie Murray is a senior BFA Dance major in Performance. She has had the opportunity to perform at the American College Dance Association, BFA Senior Dance Concert, Student Dance Festival and Faculty dance concerts while at Kent State. Mackenzie is a third year member of the Kent Dance Ensemble and is also a member of the Student Dance Education Organization. She had the honor of being awarded the May O’ Donnell Memorial Dance Award (2015-2016). After college, Mackenzie hopes to join a dance company in either New York City, North Carolina or Europe and move in with her best friend and fellow dancer, Michaela Henry.

Halle Spero is a junior BFA Dance major in performance. She interned with Joan Meggitt’s Antaeus Dance Company for two summers and performed with the company at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Before training at Kent she competed with Jordan Center Dance in styles such as jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical/contemporary, hip hop, pointe and musical theatre. Halle has performed in both faculty and student choreographed pieces in her two years at KSU, is a first-year apprentice member of the Kent Dance Ensemble and is anxious to begin choreographing in SDF 2017.  Halle has won several awards and honors.  Her career goals include performing commercially in L.A, Las Vegas, or Florida.

Claire Tilley is a sophomore BFA Dance major in Performance at Kent State University and a first year member of the Kent Dance Ensemble. She has performed in faculty and student choreographed dance concerts, as well as in the Adjudication and Gala concert at the 2016 American College Dance Association East Central Region Conferences. Last winter she traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to perform and collaborate with Thai dancers and other students from Kent State. In her first year at Kent State University Claire was on the Dean’s list and received the peer award for Outstanding Dancer/ Level I and the May O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship.

Morgan Walker is a junior B.F.A. Dance major in Performance at Kent State University, a second-year member of the Kent Dance Ensemble, Historian of the Student Dance Education Organization, and Student Director of the 2017 Student Dance Festival. She has performed in faculty and student choreographed concerts as well as at the American College Dance Association Adjudication and Gala Concerts in 2016. Morgan was awarded the May O’Donnell Memorial Dance Award and Xavier Atienza Dance Scholarship for summer study to attend the José Limón Summer Dance Intensive. Upon graduation, Morgan plans to dance professionally, earn her M.F.A. in Dance, and eventually own a dance school and company. 

Laura Wester is a junior Dance Performance major at Kent State University. She participates as a member of the Kent Dance Ensemble and has performed in various faculty and student concerts. She holds numerous leadership positions including Vice President of the Theatre and Dance Fraternity and is the Event Coordinator for the Student Dance Education Organization. Laura is recognized by Kent State for her academic achievements including making the Dean’s List since freshman year, receiving the Lucy. E Stillings Scholarship Award for creative work and service, and Outstanding Achievement as an Emerging Educator and providing Service to the Dance Division. 

Download the Full Adopt the Kent Dance Ensemble Brochure

For More Information

Kimberly Karpanty
Artistic Director, Kent Dance Ensemble
kkarpant@kent.edu
330-672-0127