Originally created 10/07/04

Student says she uses ballet to express herself



For Samantha Bass, dance is more than moving to music.

"It's how I talk. This is the only way I can express myself," said the John S. Davidson Fine Arts School junior.

Samantha started going to Cutno Dance when she was 7, learning modern, jazz, tap and African dance. She's taking ballet at Davidson and will appear in the school's production of An Evening of Dance, Jazz and Song at 7 p.m. today and Friday at the school. The drama department also will present Dark of the Moon immediately after the jazz and song production.

The performances will feature several Davidson classes. One of the production's numbers includes excerpts from Sleeping Beauty that were choreographed by Philip Burham.

Mr. Burham, who danced with ballet companies in Europe, spent a weekend with the dancers in August.

"I'm glad someone else came in," Samantha said. "It was the most challenging thing I'd ever practiced."

This summer, Samantha had the opportunity to work with several choreographers and perform with some of the best dancers in Georgia at the Governor's Honors Program in Valdosta.

Students were nominated by teachers and judged at the county level.

County winners traveled to Atlanta in January for an interview and audition. Only 16 dancers were selected.

Students in disciplines such as biology, social studies and music went through similar processes. Of the more than 3,000 students who apply, only 675 are chosen to attend the intensive six-week programs.

"It was a great opportunity," Samantha said. "I learned a lot."

While Samantha is undecided about her plans after high school, she intends to keep dancing.

"This is all I want to do," she said.

Tickets for An Evening of Dance, Jazz and Song and Dark of the Moon are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, children and students and $6 for Davidson students.

For more information, call 823-6924, ext. 122.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: An Evening of Dance, Jazz and Song, and Dark of the Moon

WHEN: 7 p.m. today and Friday

WHERE: Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School

COST: $8 adults, $7 senior citizens, children and students, $6 for Davidson students

PHONE: 823-6924, ext. 122