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Conservatory Alum and Dance Instructor Sets the World on Fire

Kiesha Lalama-White, dance graduate and current faculty member at Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, is having one amazing year. For starters, she was featured in Dance Magazine's "25 to watch." This was on the heels of being selected to choreograph a scene in the major motion picture, Sorority Row, starring Briana Evigan (Step Up 2), directed by Stewart Handler. She choreographed the sorority's trademark dance using six Conservatory dance students in the scene. The movie is set for release on October 2, 2009.

Lalama-White recently returned from New York City where she served as program director, choreographer and stage director for The National High School Musical Theater AwardsTM. She worked with 32 high school students, representing 16 theatres across the country. The National High School Musical Theater AwardsTM presents a national award, The Jimmy AwardTM, to a Best Actor and Best Actress from a group of student performers selected by 16 participating theaters that are members of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Consortium of Eastern Regional Theaters, Theatre Communications Group or the Broadway League. Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, LLC produced the national program. Lalama-White's work was showcased at New York University's School of the Arts before industry agents, managers and producers, and was received with a standing ovation. Visit to view video and photos from the event, which chronicle the amazing experience these young performers had in NYC.

In December, Lalama-White will stage the world premiere of her new work, The Bench. Celebrating family and what makes us who we are, The Bench is an unforgettably moving multi-media dance experience featuring a live orchestra. It beautifully chronicles those moments that fill our lives with stories, our hearts with memories and our souls with fulfillment. Music for The Bench is being composed by David Lalama, featuring Grammy Award-winner Ralph Lalama. It runs at Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse Dec. 11-13 and 18-20.

Lalama-White has also been commissioned by the Houston Metropolitan Dance company to set a new work on the company over Point Park's spring break.

Also in 2009, she choreographed Patterns for the Youth America Grand Prix, which earned her an Outstanding Choreography Award.

Lalama-White teaches jazz dance technique and choreography composition to advanced freshman, juniors and seniors as well as senior project.