Brenau Dance Department receives donation from Gainesville Newcomers Club

Dance students perform for the Gainesville Newcomers Club.Brenau’s Dance Department received a $1,600 donation from the Gainesville Newcomers Club during the university’s Evening of Dance student choreography concert on Nov. 5.

The donation will go toward students’ travel costs and fees for the American College Dance Association Conference at Florida State University on March 12-15. This year, 30 students will attend the conference, which includes workshops with national teachers and the opportunity for students to perform for their peers and other schools.

“I am elated and very much grateful for not only the monetary donation but also the Newcomers Club’s commitment to attend our concert to support us,” said Madia Cooper-Ashirifi, Dance Department chair.

The Newcomers Club, which aims to welcome women who are new to Gainesville/Hall County and serve the community, previously donated to the department in 2017. In 2019, the club contacted Cooper-Ashirifi to perform at its 60th anniversary celebration the next year. That celebration, which had to be moved, took place on Oct. 14, 2021.

“The 60th anniversary performance showed the importance of community and working with community organizations, and it provided a performance opportunity and exposure for our students,” Cooper-Ashirifi said. “It also provided students a look into how to direct and facilitate collaborative performances to enhance their skills in directorship, teaching and nonprofit organization.”