Nine students from the Dance Department graduated during summer commencement with bachelor of arts degrees. June graduates in Dance included Hannah Hope Brown, Charis Dexter and Logan Matthew McGill. August graduates were Julia Diane Heffner, Colin Tate Holbrook and Kaley Claire Johnson. Dance Education graduates for August included Aubry Dalley and Amelia Jean Wells. Alicia Jean Pann graduated with a degree in Music Dance Theatre.
Dalley was chosen as one of the convocation speakers. She mentioned in her speech that she represented BYU with her choreography as she was adjudicated for the American College Dance Association. Her piece was selected to close the gala performance—a high honor, especially for an undergraduate student work. A video segment of her work was shown to the convocation audience.
During the process of creating and sharing the piece, Dalley felt “distinctly awakened to a strong sense of duty to continue creating as a means of nourishing [her] community.”
She explained that the experience was also pivotal in her outlook on her dance education degree. Although she had come to BYU seeking to gain an education for herself by improving her dancing and teaching, she saw the need for good art and instruction.
“The world is hungry for good art,” she said, adding that she believes “the Lord intends for us graduates to fill that need on a scale of influence larger than as a personal pursuit.”
During her studies Dalley worked with talented youth, but many had limited exposure to dance as an artistic and holistic endeavor. In filling that gap, Dalley discovered her passion for teaching and love for the youth.
“It was a challenge and a pleasure to convey the power of inspiring art to my students. . . . It quickly became perhaps the most stretching and rewarding experience of my life,” she said.
Dalley concluded her remarks by reminding the graduates that they know the power of great art. She asked them to commit “to not be casual with [y]our gifts but go forward today committed to nourish [y]our communities responsibly and unselfishly.”