Friday, March 27, 2009

Academic Karaoke Discusses Dance Research

One of the really interesting aspects of being on the Coker College campus is the opportunity to hear what kinds of work and research other faculty are doing. In truth, there are not many forums available for that kind of interchange in the regular course of a day, week, month or semester on many campuses. A little more than a year ago the former Dean came up with a concept that came to be called Academic karaoke. It is an opportunity for faculty who have been on sabbatical, or who have developed some recent research or written a recent paper to share their work. One of the bright spots of this type of presentation that it is also open to students. It is an opportunity and some people take advantage.

This recent Friday afternoon Wanda Ebright, Coker associate professor of dance, had her sabbatical last year and that got her tuning into the variety of research possibilities. She shared some of those avenues and some of her thinking about why. Her primary avenue of interest is ballet and she is hoping to pioneer some research into classical ballet companies composed of African American or black dancers. While she has her MFA from Florida State and in her field this is the terminal degree, she is also pursuing a doctorate in dance studies from Texas Woman's Universitye.

She was able to share a lot of her thinking with several faculty, staff and a good number of dance students. In Hartsville, we like to talk about our town as The Art of Good Living and we urge visitors here with the line, "expect pleasant surprises." Each of the academic karaoke events I have been too have revealed enjoyable pleasant surprises -- this was an interesting afternoon.

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