December 19, 2014  

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Dancing Against Substance Abuse: Student Draws from Life Experiences to Choreograph Dance

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The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Dance will host Dancing Against Substance Abuse, Monday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. The dance event, choreographed by Performance and Choreography student Alexis Barbaresi, will be held in the Thad Cochran Grand Ballroom.

Dancing Against Substance Abuse is a unique event inspired by a true story. Barbaresi, a junior at Southern Miss, was inspired to create the dance piece because of a personal life event. Barbaresi is using the event as an opportunity to educate the public on substance abuse and the ways it can negatively affect other individuals, including family members.

“Experiencing a sibling undergoing the effects of substance abuse for the past decade has really opened my eyes to the dangers of drugs. Every Southern Miss student and all people of Hattiesburg absolutely need to come see this event. Substance abuse could happen to anyone," said Barbaresi.

The dance piece includes eight members of the Repertory Dance Company who will portray various roles in a family. Barbaresi has worked closely with instructors Meredith Early and Stacy Reischman Fletcher in order to create an impactful and meaningful piece.

The event, in partnership with Student Health Services, will feature three speakers who will share educational information, as well as personal testimonies.

“Dancing Against Substance Abuse will be an event that beautifully blends artistry and advocacy. Dance is a powerful form used to communicate something very specific to an audience. In this case, Barbaresi’s choreography and the information provided through Student Health Services will creatively bring an awareness to this issue,” said Early.

This event is free and open to the public; however, donations will be accepted. For more information, contact the Department of Dance at 601.266.4161.