The University of Alabama

UA Student will Showcase Dance at Kennedy Center

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Christopher Dean Bottoms, a University of Alabama senior double majoring in dance and pre-dental biology, will showcase a dance he choreographed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on May 15, 2002.

Bottoms choreographed a combination jazz and pointe piece called “Captive Swan.” The piece first was presented in the fall Dance Alabama! concert before heading to Austin, Texas, for the American College Dance Festival Association competition. There, Bottoms and his dancers competed against faculty and student choreographers from 35 universities across the United States, and won.

“Students like this are shining examples of what can happen if you want something badly enough,” said Edith Barnes, professor of theatre and dance and director of dance at UA. “Anyone who can double major in pre-dental biology and be able to take a performance to the Kennedy Center has to be a remarkable individual.”

Bottoms said he thought the best he could hope for was making it to the regional performance. He never thought he would get to compete in Austin, much less win and be showcased at the Kennedy Center.

“We’re completely shocked. It’s just a huge honor,” Bottoms said. “While I was in New York last summer I went to different shows and decided to write a rock ballet. ‘Captive Swan’ is a combination of hard-core jazz dancing and ballet. All of the girls wear classical tutu’s and pointe shoes and dance both styles.”

He says the piece is a play on “Swan Lake” and portrays how people can lose their minds when faced with repetitive daily acts.

After his May graduation, Bottoms will take on the role of head counselor for the Rockettes Summer Intensive Program in Tuscaloosa June 2-7. The program is the first of its kind for the Rockettes and speaks volumes about the professionalism of the Tuscaloosa dance community, according to Barnes. She said the program will help open professional doors for UA dance students.

Bottoms received the UA National Alumni Association’s 2002 Alumni Student Award in April. The award is given to outstanding seniors who have excelled in academics and extracurricular activities, shown strength of character and maturity and displayed exceptional hospitality toward guests and friends of the University.

He is the president of Dance Alabama! for 2002. Bottoms was a co-creator of a program called “Time to Dance,” which takes students into the city to teach dance to Tuscaloosa children. “Time to Dance” was awarded most original community service program in 2001. Bottoms received summer scholarships twice to the American Ballet summer program in New York. In 2002 he won the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre award, and in 1999 he won the Dance Alabama! award.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Elizabeth M. Smith, UA Media Relations, 205/348-3782, esmith@ur.ua.edu
  • SOURCE: Chris Bottoms, 205/301-6572
    Edith Barnes, 205/348-8699