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College Dance Students To Perform At Prestigious National Event

Shown in a jumping sequence, the Collin Dance Ensemble will perform "Hither Thither" on Thursday, June 5, at the American College National Dance Festival in New York. Photo by Nick Young, Collin College photographer

May 15, 2008 - For the first time in Collin College history, its Dance department has been invited to perform at the American College National Dance Festival on June 4-6 at the Miller Theatre in New York.

In the last 10 years, Collin College's Dance department has attended the event's regional festival where its students have been selected six times for the Gala Concert, which is considered an extreme honor among dance institutions. However, performing at the national level "is an incredible opportunity," said Collin College Dance department chair and Professor Tiffanee Arnold.

"These dance students will perform in New York alongside other honored dance programs," she added. "Dance artists throughout the nation will be in attendance and will experience Collin College's two-year dance program in comparison to prestigious four-year and graduate dance programs."

Overall, 429 dance works were adjudicated nationwide but only 29 were selected to perform at the national event. Collin College is one of two community colleges that will perform.

According to Arnold, Collin College's dance students will perform work introduced to them in November 2007 by guest artist Janice Garrett, an international choreographer and dance educator who currently directs her own San Francisco company, Janice Garrett and Dancers, and was honored in 2004 by Dance Magazine as one of its "Top 25 to Watch."

Collin College is scheduled to open the Gala Show No. 2 on Thursday, June 5 with its performance "Hither Thither."

Dance students making the trip are: Kayla Bethea, Jessica Cantu, Delaney Como, Rachel Gallant, Katherine Heckel, Jade Laverell, Lauren Mauro, Robin Olszewski, Jessie Prevette, Jaimie Price, Carolyn Robbins, Cassi Samples, Joseph Traister, Kari Valentine and Jonah Villegas.

In addition to performing at the national festival, Collin College's dance students will participate in dance classes, observe several dance concerts and experience a variety of dance instructors.

The American College National Dance Festival is in its 13th year and features dance performances representing an array of styles including ballet, modern dance and African-influenced dance.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.