5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693
Union Avenue Campus
737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322
901/333-STCC * www.southwest.tn.edu
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
Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.