Ballet competition opens Saturday in Jackson

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 13 at 1:10 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Young dancers from six continents are gathering in Jackson, Mississippi, for the USA International Ballet Competition, aiming to win prizes and further their careers.

The 2014 competition runs from Saturday through June 29, with 92 competitors vying for medals, scholarships, cash and maybe a job offer from a ballet company.

Dancers like Katherine Barkman, a 17-year-old soloist from Richboro, Pennsylvania, have been aiming at the competition for years. After rehearsing Friday, Barkman says she's been training six hours a day to get ready.

For Mississippi's capital city, it's a chance to show off the renovated auditorium hosting the competition. It's named for Thalia Mara, the dance director who brought the first competition to Jackson in 1979. IBC Director Sue Lobrano says the competition brought $10.2 million to the city in 2010.

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