June 20, 2018  

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Spots Still Open for Educators at Mississippi Dance Festival

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From Sept. 8-10, The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Dance will host the 5th annual Mississippi Dance Festival (MDF) on the Hattiesburg campus. The festival is for student dancers in grades 7-12, dance educators, traditional classroom educators interested in incorporating the arts into their classrooms, and professional dancers from around the region.

Attendees will enjoy a number of master classes, lectures from guest artists and networking. A concert on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre and Dance Building, Studio 115 will kick off the weekend of dance and will includes performances from festival faculty. Tickets to Friday’s performance will be $5 at the door.

Elizabeth Lentz-Hill, interim chair of the Department of Dance at Southern Miss, said student registration is full and now closed, but registration is still open for educators interested in using the arts in their classrooms.

“The weekend’s kickoff performance on Friday night will feature local high schools and MDF teachers in performance. Throughout the weekend there will be six master dance classes for students and six master classes in dance education for educators, as well as an ‘Improv Jam.’” Lentz-Hill said.

MDF is proud to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for dance educators—the first organization to offer CEUs in dance in the state of Mississippi, according to Lentz-Hill.

This year's featured guest artist is Zac Whittenburg, former dancer and current arts advocate based in Chicago. Whittenburg performed with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet and BJM Danse Montreal before beginning his career as a dance critic, writer for Dance Magazine, and now arts advocate, as the communications and engagement director for the Illinois Arts Alliance. Whittenburg will teach master dance classes to participants, and give talks on engaging communities in the arts and the overall state of dance in the nation and internationally.

“This will be a wonderful time for student and teachers dancers to socialize, learn and have fun,” Lentz-Hill added.

For more information about Mississippi Dance Festival, visit www.mississippidancefestival.com.