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Statewide dance event offers educational opportunities for SC dancers, dance teachers

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From staff reports 

Dance students from across the state will gather together to connect, compete, and cultivate their skills during the third annual Grand Jeté Student Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition. 

The now week-long event offers master classes led by guest artists, audition and recruitment events with national dance programs and teacher workshops for private studio and public school dance teachers. 

“This is not just a competition,” Grand Jeté Director Josée Garant said in a release. “This is an opportunity for the dance community to come together, learn together and showcase the exceptional talent our state has to offer. Dance is such a competitive field, which is why we feel it is so important to host an event where dancers can get to know each other, support each other and consider their future in dance at the collegiate level.” 

Dance students, ages 10- 19, who choose to compete have the chance to win cash prizes, totaling $5,250, in the categories of classical ballet, modern/contemporary and student choreography. They will also gain valuable feedback from the competition’s esteemed, out-of-state, adjudicators — Jorden Morris, Akua Noni Parker and Sarah Wroth. 

Morris is a retired principal dancer, choreographer and the current guest artistic director of the Orlando Ballet. Parker has performed as a leading company member with prestigious dance companies such as Alvin Ailey Ame r i c a n Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet San Jose. Wroth is an associate professor of music in ballet and the chair of the ballet department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 

Competitors and noncompetitors can attend virtual information sessions and in-person audition classes with university and trainee dance program recruiters from Dean College, New World School of the Arts, Ohio State University, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Texas Christian University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Oklahoma, University of South Florida, 

University of Utah and others. They can also participate in in-person master classes in ballet and modern/contemporary. 

“Grand Jeté is the only event in South Carolina where high school juniors and seniors can share their talents with so many recruiters in one place,” said Garant. “This is an amazing opportunity for students seeking a summer intensive or university dance program with the potential to earn scholarships.” 

South Carolina dance instructors can also participate in Grand Jeté which offers in-person teacher workshops. Classes in beginner ballet, intermediate/advanced contemporary and intermediate/advanced ballet will be held for private studio teachers. K-12 public school teachers can register for workshops in historical dance, world dance, ballet fundamentals and modern/ contemporary free of charge. 

Grand Jeté will be held March 1-6, with the competition occurring on March 6. Participants can choose to only attend their preferred events and are not required to attend for the full week. 

In-person events will be held on the Governor’s School’s campus in downtown Greenville. Interested individuals can register online at www.scgsah.org/grand-jete until Feb. 1. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation at 864-282-1570 for more details. 

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