Lana Fuqua | Dean’s Award of Merit; Outstanding Junior – Dance

Lana FuquaOther Awards: The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (UA Premier Award); Dance Honor Society of Alabama Inductee

Major: Dance and Communication Studies

Hometown: Abbeville, Alabama

Favorite Experience: I have had so many amazing experiences within the dance program that it is hard to choose just one favorite overall experience! Most recently, my favorite experience has been serving as a Dance Ambassador, and this year as the Dance Ambassadors Student Director. Within this role, I serve internally and externally to aid prospective students in finding their collegiate home. One of the largest tasks within this role is to coordinate tours of the dance facilities. I am in constant contact with prospective students and regional recruiters to create tour agendas with Ambassadors that hold similar interests and life experiences. These tours are crucial for prospective students wishing to gain a student’s perspective on their experiences at the university and to see our dance studios. It has also been a joy to be a voice for student wellbeing, in which I have created self-care boxes and town halls to address physical and mental health amongst dancers. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to create program-specific merchandise for dance majors to represent the program with their clothing and gameday buttons! In addition to my work behind-the-scenes, I am also thankful to serve as a primary student representative for the program. I have facilitated Freshman Orientation, represented at external recruiting events, and interacted with students and parents at our program auditions. Not only do I love to serve the dance program, but I love to help others in their collegiate journey while showcasing my love for UA. The best feeling is conducting a tour and later seeing that prospective student at auditions, then hopefully becoming a member of the new freshman class. This demonstrates that they were able to latch on to the magic that I see in the program and are invested in the vision themselves!

Favorite Professor: One of my favorite professors at UA is Lawrence Jackson. Lawrence was the first professor that I took a dance technique class from and has remained a steadfast supporter of my journey as a student and future alumna. As an advisor and mentor, he has always provided me with the constructive criticism that I needed to motivate me and push me towards my goals, while also providing me with love and support. What I have most admired about Lawrence are his calm demeanor and demanding presence. He is a true leader through and through and I am so grateful to have him as the head of the dance program. He serves in the best interest of the students and continues to work in ways that aid in uplifting minority voices. As a professor, he is invested in personal growth. We are always being pushed to work to our highest potential without being compared to the person beside us. It is this mentality throughout the entire dance program that has fostered a positive environment within the student-to-professor relationship and allowed our program to be one of support rather than competition.

Future Plans: My future plans are to dance with a professional modern dance company, in addition to pursuing a career in arts management in the dance industry. I am currently completing a Fellowship with BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance and hope to use this as a stepping stone in my arts management/development career. My 10-year end goal is to direct an arts outreach program, bringing dance education to underserved communities.