Local Good News: Ballet Provides Artistic Outlet For Mid-South Youth

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - A group of ballet dancers from across the country has settled here in the Mid-South. The contemporary ballet company is called Collage Dance Collective.  Its purpose is to move young people through dance and get them excited about the arts.

It's a quick stretch before performing on Local Memphis Live.  Collage Dance Collective is determined to make a difference in the City of Memphis.

"Our goal is to inspire the growth of ballet and also to increase diversity in classical ballet," said Collage Dance Collective Executive Director Marcellus Harper. "It's important that our stages reflect our city, and it's important that young people see dancers that look like them."

We first introduced you to the Collage Dance Collective back in September of 2015.

"Being a part of Collage Dance Collective has afforded me the opportunity to be a part of something that is much larger than myself," said Collage Dance Collective Dancer Brandye Lee. "I am a professional ballerina of color. Yet, I also have the opportunity to give back to the city of Memphis," said Lee.

The Collage Dance Collective Company was inspired by the Harlem Ballet Company.  That company gave disadvantaged youth training to become world-class dancers by taking them off the streets and teaching dance.  Member of the Memphis company want to do the same thing here in the Bluff City, creating diversity in classical ballet.

"The ballet training that we provide helps to instill discipline and character and focus that will ultimately give children more choices as they grow up," said Lee.

And that's local good news.

 


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