Every year Beloit dance students and faculty travel to the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) regional conference. At the conference, we attend classes for 4 days and perform in adjudicated concerts and informal performances.
Two of the dances from Chelonia, Beloit’s annual dance concert—one faculty/guest work and one student work—are chosen to be presented at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) regional festivals each spring. Since 2001, Beloit’s dances are regularly selected for the prestigious gala concert.
Off Campus Training
Many Beloit dancers go to summer programs such as the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, or do summer study in New York. Some of our dancers have earned scholarships for summer study and prestigious internships at these programs. Past and present dance students are actively involved in regional dance companies.
Students often do internships during the summer in a variety of locations such as New York City, Bates Dance Festival, and American Dance Festival. For instance, one student participated in a internship in the costume shop at the Reynolds Industries Theater for American Dance Festival.
Stacey Jaeger presents at KC/ACTF Region III conference in 2019,Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival: Region III
Every January, students travel to attend the KC/ACTF Region III conference to take workshops, compete for scholarships, and see shows from college and universities all over the Midwest. The week is an exciting discovery of all the possibilities that are possible in the theatre. It’s a “don’t miss” experience!
Students prepare for a late night Kids Eat Free improv show.
Beloit Independent Theatre Experience
BITE is a student run organization that encourages performances at a technical and professional level. We strive to give our members encouragement for their projects and even offer funding for their plans so that the club can be a cool and inclusive place! It’s easy to be a part of the fun and there isn’t pressure to create, but it does flourish within our community.
Live with other performers in Performing Arts House. First row (left to right): Joshua Block, Abby Bender, Connie Bronson; Back row (left to right): Julia Dirkes-Jacks, Stacey Jaeger, Will Mertins, Sydney Mercado
Performing Arts House
Performing Arts House is a special interest house associated with the Beloit Independent Theatre Experience (BITE). Six students live there at a time, but many students find themselves spending time doing homework, attending events, and just hanging out at the house. It has one bathroom that is ridiculously small, and one bathroom that is unnecessarily large, as well as three porches and a spooky basement. It is a lively and warm space that welcomes people of all levels of interest and involvement in the performing arts, but be warned, it gets intense on board game nights.
United States Institute of Theatre Technology
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a national organization for technicians and designers working in the performance industry. Each year USITT holds a national conference that brings professionals, students, and professors together to learn, engage, and network throughout the week. Beloit College students are encouraged to attend the conference where they have the opportunity to sit in on workshops, panels, and poster sessions; participate in portfolio reviews by professionals in the field; apply for jobs and graduate programs; and learn about new products and advanced techniques. Students also take part in the Tech Olympics hosted by USITT each year. Students that attend the conference then host a version of the Tech Olympics for the Beloit College Community at the end of every spring term.
One of the opportunities within the Theatre and Dance department is working in the Scene Shop. Students who work in the shop will gain practical experience in building scenery, working with lighting, finding and building props, as well as working with sound and technology. To achieve this, students are given the opportunity to learn such skills as woodworking, welding/metalwork, soldering, basic wiring and electric skills, and team leadership in an environment that is fun and rewarding. We work hard, and we have fun doing it!
At Beloit College you can get experience working in a professionally structured costume shop. Beloit College’s costume shop fits, builds, and alters all costumes worn in the four mainstage theatre productions, Chelonia, and the December Dance Workshop. While working in the costume shop, student employees will develop their sewing, cutting, and patterning skills. Employees with an aptitude for costume craft work get hands on experience dying fabric and garments along with building hats and masks. Beloit College houses a large costume stock for performance use as well as a sizable historical costume collection dating back to the 1860’s with which employees have the opportunity to learn how to organize and run costume storage. Museum study students, or students interested in costume history are employed to coordinate and maintain the historical collection. The skills learned while working in the costume shop not only are practical for day to day life, but also give student employees real world experience that will help them find further employment once they leave Beloit College.
Dancing on the fringe
Professor of Dance Chris Johnson created a new work in collaboration with alumna Sarah Ellen Miller’15 and student Emma Logas’25 last May. The dance was invited to be a part of this fall’s Elgin Fringe Festival, held Labor Day Weekend. Because Miller was unavailable for the Fringe performance, Johnson invited Kateri Zitzelsberger’26 to step in. Logas and Zitzelsberger…
A Janesville director casts the beloved musical with all-LGBTQ+ actors — including three of Beloit’s own — for the first time and received video messages of support from two original cast members. “This is the exact time you should be doing a show like this,” they said. “You’re part of the RENT family now.”
Dance students travel to Berlin for immersive dance study
On May 15, shortly after the 2022 commencement, nine dance students departed for Berlin, Germany to participate in a Beloit College Global Engagement Seminar of immersive dance study, creation and performance.