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  • Erin Madigan White

MFEE Grant Elevates Emerging Choreographers

Updated: May 6

Members of the Montclair High School Dance Company prepared for their recent performance with the help of emerging and professional choreographers of diverse backgrounds, thanks to a grant from the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence


Fifty student dancers had the opportunity to work with artists like Tracy Dunbar, a graduate of Montclair State University with a BFA in Dance Performance who has performed with Nimbus DanceWorks, Battery Dance, Bare Dance Company, The VonHoward Project, Elisa Monte Dance, MOMIX, and many others; and Eric Parra, a first-generation Colombian-American artist who also graduated from MSU with a BFA in Dance Performance and is currently a performing artist with Limón Dance Company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers and the Metropolitan Opera House. 


The choreographers shared their creative process, personal stories and work with students, explained teacher and MHS Dance Company Director Kamille King.  


“Through [MFEE’s] donation and support, we were able to provide a platform and establish an environment for choreographers of the BIPOC community to create work that brings light to their artistic voice,” King said. “Thank you for all that you do for the Montclair community, and a special thank you for helping our company to facilitate our efforts to be inclusive and amplify the voices of individuals who might be otherwise overlooked.” 


Each year, MFEE funds approximately $60,000 in Educational Excellence grantsthat fuel innovation and enhance classroom learning. These grants are made possible through generous donations from our supporters, and key fundraisers such as “Toast to the Teachers,” family-hosted parties that will be held this year between May 1 - June 23. 


“We’re so pleased MFEE could support this enriching experience for MHS dancers,” said Masiel Rodriquez-Vars, Executive Director of MFEE. “We hope the students are inspired, and we applaud their amazing performances!”

(Photos by Cynthia Leigh Heim, courtesy MHS Dance Company)

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