One dancer, standing, starts to do exercises, while in an opposing corner another sits on the floor crumpling bits of paper into wads and tossing them randomly about the stage.Beverly Brown's "If You Brought It Take It With You Leave Nothing But Footprints" started out as if it intended to be an anti-litter tract. As it turned out, it might have been more fittingly called "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Garbage."

The piece, by New York choreographer Brown, who's been a guest artist at American University this semester, was the capstone of the annual spring dance concert mounted by A.U. at Clendenen Theater last night, in a program otherwise featuring work by the dance faculty and students.

Soda bottles and cans, plastic litter bags, and piles of discarded clothing were among the "props" in "Footprints" which somehow got recycled into the musical or dance action of the piece. The bottles, for instance were converted by the dancers into percussion, and then wind instruments. At one point the dancers, rolling around with outspread limbs and stuffing the paper wads into their leg warmers, became a collective vacuum cleaner whisking the stage clean. Not exactly the most coherent composition ever seen, but amusing and seldom without some interet sonic or kinetic.

The other six works of the evening displayed more strongly concentrated movement themes than one usually sees in events of this kind, though few wholes. Sharon Wyrrick's gently spiralling "Helix," Meade Andrews' "Working with Gravity," which explored both resistance and submission, and Cissy Whipp's idly frolicsome "Footage" seemed the most inventive of the lot.