7/18/2012 6:00:00 PM
Read the full article.
Later this month the eyes of global ballet professionals and fans will focus on Varna, Bulgaria for an international ballet competition equivalent to the Olympics of that art. But last week, they directed their gaze at Jackson, Mississippi, for a reunion gala of medal winners from the USA International Ballet Competition held every four years in the capital of the Magnolia State. The USA IBC returns to our state in 2014, something former USA IBC Chairman Billy Mounger of Jackson calls a bragging right for the city and state. …

The Jackson IBC Competition has become the top exhibition for identifying the world’s leading talent in dance and a critical step in the development and exposure of elite international ballet professionals. But the competition goes beyond bragging rights and cultural exchange.

An independent study by the Department of Economic and Workforce Development at the University of Mississippi reported the 2010 competition generated a $10.2 million economic impact for Mississippi, a 35 percent increase from the 2006 event.

If you missed last week’s gala reunion, you have two years to plan for the next competition.