Southwest Tennessee Community College

JUNE 9, 2004

For more information: Pat O’Brien, (901) 333-4021 -- Kimberly Stark, (901) 333-4023

Southwest offers imagination in motion: A CHANCE TO DANCE...PERHAPS TO FLY!

It happens every summer under real spotlights in a real theater for a small corps de ballet of school children. They get their "Chance to Dance" under the tutelage of national and international dance professionals. Hosting the summer program is Dance Works, Inc., now in its tenth year as resident academy of ballet at the Union Avenue Campus of Southwest Tennessee Community College.

For Karen Zissoff, artistic and executive director of Dance Works, this is a continuing summer story and her favorite part of the year. "Especially for some of our inner-city children, it's a chance to learn with the very best and very devoted teachers."

Instructors for the summer program, in addition to Zissoff, are guest artists Judith Davies and Mel Tomlinson. Davies is a registered teacher and life member of the Royal Academy of Dance in Ottawa and founding director of the Ottawa Dance Theater and Ottawa Dance Center. Her training includes student apprenticeships with Les Grand Ballets Canadians, Montreal, and contemporary training with Martha Graham. She has performed with Judy Jarvis Dance and Theatre Co., Toronto and is the recipient of two Ontario Arts Council Choreographic awards.

Tomlinson earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet from North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and has garnered recognition in Who's Who in the World, in Black America, in Music and Dance and as Outstanding Young Man in America. His professional career as a premiere dancer includes the Heritage Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet.

Children, ages seven through college can now register for classes that include ballet, jazz, modern, African, creative, comp-improv, Pilates – and nutrition. "We include nutrition because it's so important to young developing bodies spending hours in strenuous muscle building and toning activities," said Zissoff. Classes run July 5-30. A Chance to Dance is sponsored in part by the Greater Memphis Arts Council to supplement tuition needs for some students. For information, call 333-5174.