USA IBC Dance SchoolJune 14, 2018 (Jackson, MIss.) - The USA International Ballet Competition (USA IBC) has begun in Jackson, Miss., and Belhaven is playing a major role by hosting the 2018 USA IBC Dance School.

Students from around the country take part in this two-week ballet intensive. “Belhaven is honored to host the 2018 USA IBC Dance School,” said Chair of the Belhaven Dance Department Krista Bower. “One hundred students from across the nation have traveled to Jackson to train with master teachers and to attend the USA IBC performances, June 10-23, 2018.”

The students will take dance classes in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center studios and live in Belhaven residence halls during their stay.

USA IBC has an extensive history of hiring Belhaven dance alumni, faculty, and students to serve as staff. Bower points out, “Because of our long-standing partnership, Belhaven students have the unique opportunity to gain incredible job experience within the field of dance by working for this world-class organization.”

The following alumni, faculty, and students are representing Belhaven as 2018 USA IBC staff members:

Andy Leatherman '07 - production assistant
Arianna Marcell '16 - dance school administrator
Andie Knudson (Class of 2019) - dance school assistant
Adriana Popa (Class of 2020) - dance school intern
Anna Rhodes (Class of 2019) - box office assistant
Cindy Alvarez (Class of 2020) - hotel coordinator
Sarah Berry-Lee (Class of 2019)- assistant participant coordinator
Kathryn Wilson '14 - city dance director and assistant stage manager
Grace Ramazzini '18 - dance school counselor
Caryn Camacho '18 - dance school counselor
Jenny White (Class of 2020) - dance school counselor

Ravenna Tucker Wagnon, associate professor of dance at Belhaven, will also serve as an evaluator during the competition. She will meet with the competitors after their performances to offer feedback. “We're so proud of these students, alumni, and faculty. We are grateful that the Belhaven Dance Department can help to support the USA IBC every four years.”


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 the world's top 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. 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.