Macon Cove Campus
5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693

Union Avenue Campus
737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322

Fayette Center

Gill Center

Millington Center

Southeast Center

Whitehaven Center

901/333-STCC *

DATE: June 3, 2002
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, (901) 333-5338 or Marilyn Duncan (901) 333-4247

Classical Dance Student’s Path to Juilliard Started at Southwest

Davon Rainey, a former student at the classical dance company based at Southwest Tennessee Community College, has been awarded admission to the prestigious The Juilliard School Bachelor of Fine Arts program for the Fall 2002 Semester. Rainey studied classical ballet for four years at Dance Works, Inc., which is housed in Southwest’s Fine Arts, Languages and Literature Department, on the Union Avenue Campus.

Established in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art, The Juilliard School remains today the nation’s most prominent four-year institution of higher learning dedicated to the arts. “There are two words I often use to describe Juilliard students – talented and dedicated,” states Joseph W. Polisi, president, The Juilliard School. “The transforming role of Juilliard is to help talented students harness their dedication to become communicative artists, imbued with passion and understanding to reach within themselves to affect and move audiences.”

Karen Zissoff, the executive/artistic director for Dance Works, Inc., says Rainey has also been awarded a summer internship to the Dance Theatre of Harlem. “This is really a milestone achievement for Davon,” Zissoff said. “It’s great to have the talent of one of our students recognized and encouraged from such critically acclaimed institutions as Juilliard and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.”

Founded in 1987 by Zissoff, Dance Works, Inc., offers dance instructions for both females and males. This unique curriculum targets students ages 4 to 18. It has a broad ballet base and includes creative and contemporary dance as well as Pointe, Character and Limbering instruction.

Rainey, 19, exemplifies the focus of the nearly 10-year partnership between Southwest and Dance Works, Inc. A major objective of this cultural outreach initiative is aimed at introducing inner-city youth to the arts. This gifted dancer grew up in Memphis, where he lived in the Cleaborn Homes housing development.

After completing his studies at Dance Works, Inc., Rainey was awarded a scholarship to the highly regarded Interlochen Michigan Arts Academy. He studied classical ballet, modern dance and other idioms at Interlochen.
Rainey has performed classical roles from ballet standards and some noted contemporary works as well. Honors include being named a recipient of the Van R. Ault Scholarship by the Tennessee Association of Dance, and being recognized by Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist for his achievements with the Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS).

For additional information about Dance Works, Inc., call Southwest at
(901) 333-5174.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.