Stephanie Banes’ ‘Who R U?’ Selected for American College Dance Association’s National College Dance Festival

Dance student Stephanie Banes’ work Who R U?, performed at the American College Dance Association’s 2018 North-Central Conference in mid-March, has been selected for a national performance at the ACDA’s National College Dance Festival. The dance, according to North-Central conference adjudicators Melonie Murray Buchanan, Tanya Calamoneri, and Gus Solomons Jr., “blends street vocabulary with text, sound, and video to speak eloquently of oppressed minority youth in an urban environment.”

“Who R U? addresses current events including Charlottesville’s white nationalist rallies, Black Lives Matter protests, and the statistical increase in African American deaths due to racist hate crimes,” says Banes, noting that in her research process behind the work, she sought to highlight and combat the media’s often negative portrayals of hate crime victims. Through Who R U?, Banes works to bridge Hip-Hop’s cultural movement with the emotions and activism of Black and Brown protesters, “ultimately to demonstrate the value and authenticity that they deserve.”

Dance Assistant Professor Kelsa Robinson served as Banes’ faculty mentor for the work. The two will travel to the Washington, D.C.-based National Festival in June.