Chang, an associate professor of the department of theatre and dance, will begin her term in November and will serve through October 2008. As a member of the national board, she will represent the East-Central region of the United States, helping to oversee the National College Dance Festival.
“I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity,” said Chang, who received grants from the Faculty Research Fund Board and the Faculty Development Board in 2000 to research Chinese folk dance for a video production. “I hope to meet more dance artists and educators around the United States and establish a network with other colleges.”
ACDFA is a non-profit organization that supports dance programs in higher education and promotes “creative potential and artistic excellence in choreography and/or performance.” The organization has established nine regions throughout the United States. Each board member represents an assigned region and meets three to four times each year at select locations around the country. The board is responsible for choosing dance pieces to be performed at a national gala at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Though Chang has served on the state level as vice president of OhioDance, she said it will be a challenge to serve on the national scene, in part because of cultural differences with other regions of the United States. Still, she is confident about the opportunity.
“My philosophy is to blossom wherever I am planted,” she said.
Dance has been a part of Chang’s life since the age of 16, when she began her formal training in her native home of Taipei, Taiwan. She continued to dance as an undergraduate and earned her bachelor’s degree in dance at the University of Chinese Culture, Taipei, Taiwan and her master’s in fine arts in dance at Smith College in Massachusetts. Among other companies, she has performed with Smith College’s Celebration Dance Company, the Mount Holyoke Touring Ensemble, the Yao Ming-Li Classical Ballet Company, and the Van Pelt Dance and Chinese Culture Performance Troupe.
Since 1986, she has been teaching a variety of dance courses at Wittenberg including: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, Chinese folk dancing, dance composition and dance ethnology. She also directs Wittenberg’s Annual Dance Concert.
“I use my dancing to communicate. I get so much inspiration and can express myself fully,” she said.
“When I’m 90, I’ll still be dancing.”
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