All Press Releases for November 07, 2015

Women of Distinction Magazine Selects Karen Jane Zissoff as a Distinguished Professional in Her Field

Karen Jane Zissoff, Director of Dancers, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer and Director of Dance Scholars, Inc., has been recognized as a Distinguished Professional in her field through Women of Distinction Magazine.

    MEMPHIS, TN, November 07, 2015 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Karen Jane Zissoff, Director of Dancers, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer and Director of Dance Scholars, Inc., has been recognized as a Distinguished Professional in her field through Women of Distinction Magazine. Karen Zissoff will be featured in the upcoming edition in 2015/2016.

While obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Dance at York University in Toronto, Canada, Karen J. Zissoff started and directed her own school back in the early 1970's, Karen J. Zissoff School of Dancing, which was located in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. While at York she received scholarships to attend the Banff School of Fine Arts and a Canada Council Grant to study with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. Ms. Zissoff trained under Grant Strate, Founding Director of York University's Honors Degree Program. Mr. Strate was a dancer/choreographer with the National Ballet of Canada. Some of Ms. Zissoff's prominent teachers included: Christine Hennessey; Antony Tudor; Nora Kiss; Ahuva Anbary; Moss Cohen; Helen McGehee; and Sandra Neels; and in Banff: Heinz Manniegel (Dutch National Ballet); Frank Bourman; Allen Hooper; Mme. Zolotova; and Virginia Wakelyn. In Denmark, the prominent teachers were Arnie Beck and Toni Lander. In Ottawa, Canada there was Judith Davies, Artistic Director and Founder of the Ottawa Dance Theatre. After dancing professionally with Ottawa Dance Theatre, Ms. Zissoff moved to Memphis, Tennessee where she danced as a guest with Tennessee Ballet Company, Memphis State University Dance Department, and Memphis Classical Ballet, and founded Dance Works, Inc., a non-profit dance school under her direction that provided artistic opportunities including Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) training for over 1,000 economically disadvantaged students for 24 years.

Now the Director of Dancers, Inc. and the CEO and Director of Dance Scholars, Inc., Ms. Zissoff juggles everything from meetings with board of directors to doing many choreographies. She writes grants, teaches, coordinates fundraising events, plans performances, arranges photo sessions, manages a summer intensive program, and much more.

Dancers, Inc. is a dance school dedicated to training students in arts education through classical ballet for ages four to adult. Dance Scholars, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is performance and scholarship based. Dance Scholars has received financial support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Thomas & Betts, and the Orpheum Foundation.

"I have been greatly inspired by a wonderful Artistic Director, Judith Davies at Ottawa Dance Theatre, Ottawa, Canada as well as by Grant Strate at York University, Toronto, Canada, and, of course, by my husband Dr. Theodore J. Burkey, Chemistry Professor at University of Memphis, throughout my amazing career in dance," Ms. Zissoff noted.

Ms. Zissoff is a Life Member of the Royal Academy of Dance trained dancer and accredited teacher. In 1990, she was awarded a fellowship by the Tennessee Arts Commission to perform Charles Weidman's Brahms Waltzes and Doris Humphrey's Two Ecstatic Themes. She participated in the "Kid's Express" program with the Board of Education under a grant from 1999-2002. In 1997, she was the recipient of an award from the Tennessee Dance Association Ballet Division for her Ballet Choreography, recognized by Girls, Inc., for community work and services in 2001 with the She Knows Where She's Going Award. Ms. Zissoff also earned a Professional Development Award from Tennessee Dance Association in 2009.

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