ballet in action ballet awards

June 12, 2014 (Jackson) - Belhaven University will again host the USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) as its International Village from June 14-29. Belhaven is a significant partner to the USA IBC and has the opportunity to host competitors, students, coaches, teacher training participants and other international visitors on its campus.

Every fourth year, Jackson, Miss. hosts the prestigious competition, rotating with Varna, Bulgaria; Helsinki, Finland; and Moscow, Russia. USA IBC is a two-week “Olympic-style” competition for top young dancers and a major stepping-stone toward a professional career. Competitors from all over the world vie for gold, silver and bronze medals, cash prizes and company contracts.

For many, Belhaven is a home away from home and provides dancers access to its campus, professional dance facilities, housing and meals. The Student Center and Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center are two key areas where the dancers will prepare for their competition, taking place at Thalia Mara Hall in Downtown Jackson.

Belhaven faculty, students and alumni are well-represented among the staff of the 2014 USA IBC. Cynthia Newland, Chair of the Belhaven Dance Department, serves on the board of directors. Krista Bower, Specialty Instructor of Dance, is serving as the Dance School Administrator and oversees the USA IBC Dance School and Teacher Training Program. Kellis McSparrin Oldenberg, Adjunct Instructor of Dance, is serving as the Assistant Participant Coordinator for USA IBC. Miranda Williams, Dance Athletic Trainer at Belhaven, will be working with competitors to help ensure their physical well being throughout the event. Several Belhaven dance students and alums are helping with the USA IBC Dance School.

Ravenna Tucker Wagnon, Associate Professor of Dance, is an Evaluator for the USA IBC and Rachael Fritsch, a Belhaven Dance Department alumna, is serving as the Assistant Artistic Administrator, who will help oversee the artistic considerations through the competition and will help planning and staging of the competition’s opening ceremonies and galas.

The USA IBC provides an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence and showcase their technical skill and artistic talent. This competition provides a forum for communication and intercultural exchange as well as educates, enlightens and develops future artists and audience support for the art of dance.