Mississippi students perform in Italy

Published 11:51 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

Fini Dance in Italy was born from Antonio Fini’s desire to take an American Summer Dance Intensive to Italy. The festival is a meeting of artists and young people who want to experience 100% dance… opportunities, scholarships, meetings, and growth.”

Since 2021, Antonio Fini has served as guest artist at Mississippi School of the Arts and annually presents scholarship awards to MSA dancers.

MSA dancers Natalie Fleming and Charleigh McDuffie took part in Fini’s intensive two-week summer school in Villapiana Lido in Calabria, Italy. They toured two ancient Italian villages, learned basic Italian, maneuvered European train systems, made life-long friends, received awards, and created professional connections in addition to attending a rigorous class schedule in classical ballet, modern repertoire, jazz, hip hop, and aerial taught by dance artists from Italy, America, and the National Kosovo Ballet Company. The day began at 8:30am and ended at 6 or 7pm each day. They were privileged to perform on two occasions, a class demonstration, and a formal gala in Altomonte, Italy. They danced variations from each genre studied and performed with a cast of 10 Italian and American dancers in Tammy Stanford’s new and revised work Rare Earth.

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MSA Dance is honored to be recognized as a Fini Dance Partner School. Tammy Stanford received a Fini Career Award in 2022 and this year she received the distinction of Fini Dance Ambassador. MSA’s new technical director, Katie Ginn, attended the Fini Dance Festival during the second two weeks of July. She was invited to take part in the festival Choreographer’s Workshop and her dance work “Hands” was performed at the Gala.