Dancer to Pose for Book on Parks

A McMechen girl has been chosen to represent West Virginia in an upcoming photography shoot to promote dancing and America’s majestic landscapes.

Avery James, 13, a dancer with Arielettes and eighth-grader at Sherrard Middle School, will be the only Mountain State resident to take part in the photo shoot at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, W.Va., in September, with Miami photographer Jonathan Givens. Givens is traveling  50 states in 90 days, photographing talented dancers at nationally significant locations, including national and state parks, with the goal of publishing a book of the photos. After receiving nearly 2,800 applications from dancers seeking to be included, he chose 150 finalists.

His project, Dance Across the USA, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to national parks and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The dancers are asked to help financially support the project and in return will receive, at the least, three images from their photo shoot. A dancer whose photo appears in the book will also get a signed copy of the book and a signed, framed, 16-inch by 20-inch print of the her image from the book.

James’s mother, Courtney Greenwood, said James is excited to be part of this project.

“She’s very big on the beauty of the outdoors. … This is something she believed in,” she said.

James has been dancing since the age of 2 and specializes in acrobatics. She is on the Sherrard Middle School cheering squad and recently was accepted to the Wheeling branch of the Pittsburgh Superstars. She also is the daughter of Eric James of Pleasant Valley.

Each applicant was required to submit a head shot and short essay. Anyone who made the cut submitted a video and full body shot.

More information for this project can be found at www.danceatusa.com

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