Andersen Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Published: November 08, 2016 | Author: Ashley Pollock | Read Time: 2 minutes

Kay AndersenOn November 5, Southern Utah University’s own Kay Andersen was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Utah Dance Education Organization’s (UDEO) Annual Fall Conference held at Utah Valley University.

Andersen is the current Chair of the Theatre Arts and Dance Department in the College of Performing and Visual Arts. He has worked as a professor at SUU for over 19 years. On hearing that he received the award, he said, “I feel very humbled to have received this recognition. Of course it makes me reflect about how it is possible so many years have passed.”

He has always been a professor with the best interests of his students at heart. Erin, who studied under Andersen’s direction, said, “…[he] encourages me to follow every dream and aspiration because anything is possible in [his] eyes.”

Shauna Mendini, Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, has worked with Andersen longer than his time at Southern Utah University. They both studied under the direction of Burch Mann with the American Folk Ballet. Mendini said, “Kay Andersen is extremely deserving of UDEO’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an accomplished performer who performed worldwide as a soloist for the Nikolais & Murray Louis Dance Company and participated in the creation of choreography that is now considered legendary in the field. Southern Utah University is fortunate to have an outstanding educator at his caliber who inspires students and peers alike. Following a masterclass in China, a faculty member from the conservatory shared with me ‘we teach our students technique but Kay Andersen teaches them how to express their technique.’ What an exceptional gift.”

When asked about his feelings of receiving the award, Andersen said, “I feel extremely fortunate to have had the variety of rich dance experiences I have had throughout my life. I am grateful to be a minuscule part of the dance experience here in Utah and beyond. Dance for me has truly provided opportunities to give in so many ways, created lifelong friendships, and priceless memories. As one of my lifetime mentors Burch Mann said, ‘It's the feet that carry us but the heart that dances.’ My heart is full.”

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