CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 20, 2014 – Southeast Missouri State University alumna Kelcey Matheny of Bradford, Tenn., was busy exploring New York City during the spring semester as one of just 16 dancers selected for the Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester Program. By the end of the semester, she had earned the program’s prestigious Top Dancer Award.
Matheny had the opportunity to not only live her dream but also enhance her dance skills and network through collaboration with dance experts. This was one step in her endeavor to find employment with a small dance company and to ascend the Broadway stage someday.
Matheny participated in rigorous dance training taught by dance mavens and choreographers. Mock auditions and seminars designed to help her learn to market herself as a professional dancer were also on her to-do list.
After she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Southeast last May, she pounced on the idea to apply for the program, and with the encouragement and assistance of her professors, submitted a detailed application, headshot, resume and video audition.
“Dancing allows me to express myself through all of these different styles,” she said. “Dancing allows me to defy gravity and push boundaries. It excites me, because it gives me a chance to get lost in another world.” She was active in the University’s dance program as well as the University Dancers United program. She performed in Fall into Dance and Spring into Dance each semester while at Southeast. She also worked as an assistant in the costume shop at Southeast’s River Campus.
Other opportunities she seized as an undergraduate included attending a workshop sponsored by jazz company Giordano Dance Chicago and earning a part in the Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis with PH eXchange Dance Theatre. She also performed Jose Limon’s Psalm at the American College Dance Festival Gala Concert, which the University hosted last year.
“That piece changed my life and the way I thought of myself as a dancer. It was just a really magical moment for me,” Matheny said.
Southeast’s Department of Theatre and Dance is an intensive professional training program designed to prepare students for advanced educational programs, internships and professional careers in the performing arts.