The USA International Ballet Competition CityDance program is completing its second year of a three-year grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. Through the support of CFGJ and other grantors, including the Mississippi Arts Commission and Greater Jackson Arts Council, CityDance provides ballet instruction, dance wear and dance shoes to approximately 80 students from the Jackson Public Schools. Classes are held after school at the Mississippi Arts Center in downtown Jackson. CityDance students, under the direction of instructor Kathryn Wilson, will present their 2017 recital at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the Belhaven University Center for the Performing Arts.
CityDance Instructor Mia Whitehead (second row, far right) and Level II students modeling costumes for Stars and Stripes Forever! in a recent rehearsal.
CityDance, an afterschool dance program the USA International Ballet Competition provides for Jackson Public School students, will present its end-of-the year recital at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Bitsy Irby Visual Arts Center at Belhaven University. Admission is free.
“CityDance is one way the USA IBC brings ballet to students who otherwise may not have an opportunity to experience it, expanding the appreciation and audience for classical dance,” said Sue Lobrano, USA IBC executive director. “The annual spring recital is always an evening of tremendous pride for these students and their parents and grandparents.”
CityDance participants are selected through auditions of students between 7 and 10 years of age at the beginning of the school year. USA IBC provides the students dancewear, shoes and twice-a-week classes at the downtown Jackson Mississippi Arts Center. Mia Whitehead, a member of Belhaven’s dance department, is the instructor. There is no charge to participate in the program, but parents must agree to transport their children to the Arts Center, arrive on time and notify the instructor if the child cannot be present. The Mississippi Arts Commission, Greater Jackson Arts Council, Jazzy Dancer, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Molpus, The Charles Sumner Bird Charitable Foundation and other donors contribute support to the program.
For more information about CityDance, call (601) 355-9853. Audition dates for next year’s CityDance program will be announced through the Jackson Public Schools as the 2013-2014 school year begins.
The Jackson Arts Center was jumping with over 100 Jackson Public School students on Saturday, September 8, 2012! All of these students were vying for one of 50 coveted positions in the USA IBC CityDance ballet program.
The USA IBC has hosted CityDance since 2003, as a free after-school ballet program for Jackson Public School students ages 7 to 13 years old. CityDance students attend weekly ballet classes and receive free dancewear during the academic year.
Each year all students, new and returning, have to audition for a position in a CityDance class. The USA IBC invites new students from ages 7 to 10 to audition and all of last year’s students to audition. The children are selected to be a part of CityDance based on flexibility, rhythm, and their ability to follow dance instruction. We are pleased to announce that Mia Whitehead of Belhaven University will be returning to lead this intensive ballet program as instructor for the 2012/2013 school year.
At the end of each school year, CityDance students present an end-of-year performance for family, friends, and the public. Sometimes, our CityDance students perform at other special events, such as our Reunion Gala.
CityDance is presented in part by generous support from the Mississippi Arts Commission, Greater Jackson Arts Council, Ballet Mississippi, and Jazzy Dancer. If you would like to support this important program, please click here.