Festival brings nearly 600 dancers from across state to UNCSA

The annual Festival of North Carolina Dance will draw 580 dance students from 35 schools and companies from across the state to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) this weekend.

The festival, hosted by the UNCSA School of Dance, runs Friday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 25, on the UNCSA campus.

“We are so happy to host the Festival of North Carolina Dance again this year on our campus,” said School of Dance Dean Susan Jaffe, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 22 years. “The number of participants seems to increase each year, which indicates a growing interest in dance, and that is so encouraging.”

Susan Jaffe

Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe expects 600 young dancers to attend North Carolina Festival of Dance.

Over the three-day weekend, students will be taking master classes taught by members of the UNCSA School of Dance faculty and guest faculty. Classes will include ballet technique, contemporary, men’s class, pointe/variations, jazz, and character. There are also classes specifically geared toward students 11 to 12 years old.

Participants will have the opportunity to audition for the UNCSA Summer Dance Intensive.

Dayna Fox, the Festival Coordinator, is a UNCSA alumna and member of the School of Dance faculty who has been teaching in UNCSA’s high school and college programs for more than 25 years. She also directed the school’s Preparatory Dance Program for young children.

These young dancers who come to UNCSA from all over the state have one thing in common: a passion for the dance,” Fox said. “This enthusiasm and dedication will serve them well as they pursue a career in dance, the arts or whatever field they choose later in life.”

Dayna Fox

Dayna Fox is Festival Coordinator for the North Carolina Dance Festival.

Festival students will attend the Saturday evening performance of UNCSA’s Winter Dance Concert (which runs Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.) at UNCSA’s Stevens Center downtown.

Other activities during the weekend include a Directors Dinner on Saturday evening before the Winter Dance performance, and a Festival Gala, presented Sunday evening for festival-goers and families. Thirteen companies were chosen this year to perform at the Gala.

Dance companies participating include: Apex -- Infinity Ballet Theatre; Asheville -- Center Stage Dance Studio, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance; Burlington -- Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts – KARIZMA II, Burlington Dance Center, Walkerdance Ballet Theatre; Cary -- Cary Ballet Company; Chapel Hill -- the Ballet School of Chapel Hill, Triangle Youth Ballet; Charlotte -- Baran Dance/BD2, Carolina Performing Arts Center, Caroline Calouche & Co. Youth Ensemble, Charlotte City Ballet Company, Charlotte School of Ballet; Cornelius -- Turning Pointe Music and Dance Center; Davidson – Dance Davidson; Durham -- Encore Academy of Dance, Riverside High School; Gastonia -- Gaston Dance Theatre, Piedmont Community Charter School; Greenville -- N.C. Academy of Dance Arts & Dance Arts Theatre, The Greenville Civic Ballet – The Dance Collective; Havelock -- The Center for the Performing Arts; Monroe -- Monroe City Ballet; Morehead City -- Dance Arts Studio; Raleigh -- CDC Performance Companies, City Ballet Raleigh, North Carolina Dance Institute, Raleigh Dance Theatre; Swansboro – Swansboro Dance Studio; and Wilmington -- DREAMS of Wilmington, Evolution Dance Complex, South East Dance Academy, Wilmington Conservatory of Fine Arts. 

by Lauren Whitaker

February 20, 2018