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Siblings share joy of dance, ballet experience

Zachary and Katie Morace are a brother and sister pair that arebound by blood and ballet.

Katie Morace began taking ballet lessons at age 6, and Zacharybecame involved at age 12.

The two recently had the opportunity to attend the USAInternational Dance School in Jackson, which is held every fouryears. The two-week class session is held in conjuction with theUSA International Ballet Competition.

Zachary and Katie, the children of Thad and Sherrie Morace, ofWesson, attended ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary and characterdance classes on the Jackson State University campus in late June.The ballet classes included instruction on technique, pointe,variations, and partnering.

The pair has different reasons behind their interest in balletand dance.

“Ballet is really graceful, and it makes me feel really prettywhen I’m on stage dancing,” Katie said. “I especially like to danceon pointe.”

Zachary said he loves acting and being on stage dancing balletis similar to that.

“One of the things I like about being on stage is getting intoall the costumes and props and getting on stage and performing infront of people,” he said.

Zachary said he learned important lessons during the two weeksof classes about not letting other people’s perceptions of himhinder his performance.

“My jazz teacher encouraged us to get loose and not care whatpeople think about you,” he said. “Just dance your best and not beworried.”

Many out-of-state students chose to stay in dormitories on theBelhaven College, but Zachary and Katie commuted to Jackson everyday with their mother.

Sherrie Morace said her children maintain active schedules. Inaddition to taking ballet classes in Jackson throughout the year,both take voice lessons. Katie also takes piano lessons, andZachary takes guitar and karate lessons and is a boy scout.

They are talented kids, and should experience the creativeprocess, Sherrie Morace said.

“I’m so thankful they can do what they love and be able toexpress themselves in dance, but keep good Christian values whilepresenting themselves on stage,” said Sherrie Morace.

The IBC brought dancers from around the world to Jackson. Partof the fun of every day was coming together in the afternoon to seewhose autograph they had gotten, the family said.

Jackson was designated the official home of the USA IBC byCongress in 1982.