Gallaudet Dance Company

Thursday 17 May 2007

Gallaudet Dance Company members demonstrated graceful movements while conveying a powerful message of hope in their performance of "Hero" at the May 9 installation of Dr. Robert Davila as Gallaudet's ninth president. The popular song by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff was choreographed and translated into ASL by Maya Yamada, '92 & G-'96, a former member of the acclaimed dance company. Performing the song were Sisakoth Chhun, Jasmine Fuller, Jessica Johnson, Virginia Jordan, Ismella Saul, and Jenna Woodburn.
An encore performance took place at the 138th Commencement exercises on May 11, where the dancers were joined by Regina Bellamy, Ashley Mingo, Sky Samuel, Sarah Schell, and Jamine Zachery for their dance interpretations of "The Power of Love", "Rocka My Soul", and the late deaf theater giant - and Dance Company member - Gil Eastman's "Just a Deaf Person's Thoughts".
The Dance Company has performed at every Gallaudet Commencement exercise since 1956. Dance Company Director Diane Hottendorf said the dancers first performed "Hero" after the national tragedy of September 11, 2001, when America was looking for a hero in its effort to unite and stand strong. Hottendorf said the dancers felt that the song was an appropriate one for Gallaudet as Dr. Davila leads it to a brighter future.

(Inside Gallaudet)

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