Yancey balances arts, academics

Passionate, fearless, dramatic, exceptional and confident are typical adjectives sprinkled throughout the recommendations for Trecarcia Yancey as the recipient of this year's Sudler Prize in the Arts. The prize is awarded annually to the graduating College senior "who has demonstrated the highest standard of proficiency in one or more of the performing or creative arts."

An English major with a double major in psychology and dance, Yancey has managed to balance her academic demands with the opportunity to pursue her interest in dance. "I came to Emory because it has a nice strong academic program, and there are also a lot of outlets for dance," she said.

It is clear from how her professors describe her that dance has not been merely a sideline. "She is one of the most passionate, fearless and dramatic dancers I have had the pleasure to watch or know," said Anna Leo, Yancey's minor adviser. "She dances the only way that makes sense to her -- from her soul."

Lori Teague, a lecturer in dance, said that Yancey "approaches living and performing through challenge and risk. . . . I have never seen a student perform with such a deliberate attention to expression. Her body sings, speaks and articulates a full range of emotions and dynamics."

Yancey not only has performed at Emory, but also has choreographed more than 10 works during her four years here, both for the Emory Dance Company and for the AHANA Artists' Collective. She spent last summer in an intensive eight-week summer internship with the Alvin Ailey Dance Center.

During her sophomore and junior years, Yancey founded Voices of Umoja, a group of student volunteers that went to Atlanta high schools during their Saturday detention programs, talked with the kids and presented conflict resolution scenarios. Umoja, said Yancey, means "unity," and is one of the seven principles of Kwanza.

The experience of successfully juggling the demands of the classroom and the demands of dance "is the only reason I can conceive of going to law school and dancing." This fall, Yancey will begin law school either at Boston College or the University of Georgia, two of the 15 law schools where she was accepted, yet another indication that her balancing act has been successful.

-- Nancy M. Spitler

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