Krista BowerJuly 23, 2016 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University has named Mrs. Krista Bower the new chair and associate professor of its dance department. Her excellence in dance is attributed to a background in arts management, countless performances, choreographing compositions as well as her work with the USA International Ballet Competition (IBC).

Mrs. Cynthia Newland, former chair of dance, expressed her excitement over Bower's appointment. “She brings a sincere relationship with God, great love for Belhaven and a passion for the field of dance to this position. She faithfully demonstrates her eagerness to leave a lasting mark in the world of dance. I believe she will diligently lead the department through the next season as she whole heartily serves her fellow faculty members and students under her care.”

Bower previously served as specialty instructor for four years and adjunct for five and a half years at Belhaven. She is the owner and director of the Yazoo City School of Dance, and she is the co-founder and co-director of the Front Porch Dance Company, a Mississippi-based contemporary dance company that collaborates and performs with dancers, musicians and visual artists throughout the state.

Her experience with the USA IBC began in 2006; she served on their staff till 2010. Later, she was the dance school administrator for the 2014 USA IBC Dance School and Teacher Training Program.

Bower just recently received a Performing Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a merit-based awards given to professionals producing works of high artistic quality, and was awarded the same fellowship in 2011. She performed with Living Water Dance Company in Jackson, Mississippi from 2005 - 2006. She is also a founding instructor of the Dance for Parkinson's program in Jackson. In 2013, the Mississippi Business Journal named Bower one of Mississippi's 50 Leading Business Women.

She earned an M.F.A. in Choreography from Jacksonville University/White Oak and a B.F.A. in Dance from Belhaven University. She was a recipient of the Jacksonville University Dean's Award for Excellence in 2011 and 2012. As a student at Belhaven, she received the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement and the Daniel Award for outstanding scholastic achievement. She has presented her research at the Congress on Research in Dance, Society of Dance History Scholars and National Dance Education Organization conferences.