City dance student and alumnus awarded


Jamie Nixon, a student at City College, performs a duet for the Young Choreographers Showcase at Saville Theatre on Feb. 23, winning third place. Courtesy photo by Manuel Rotenberg

kaily sanders

For San Diego CIty College student Jamie Nixon and alumnus Zaquia Mahler Salinas, hard work and dedication paid off when they tied for third place in the third annual Young Choreographer’s Showcase.

Jean Issacs, the artistic director for San Diego Dance Theater, holds the YCS each year to give up and coming choreographers a chance to present their talent and get their name out there. The showcase was held in City College’s Saville Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 23.

“It also gives a great chance to expose other dancers that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” said Nixon, 20, majoring in dance and psychology.

This year, there were 11 choreographers competing for a chance to win up to $3,000. Each choreographer chooses dancers to perform their choreographed dance. The awards were determined by six judges, as well as the audience.

The first place winner of this year’s YCS was Jessica Rabanzo-Flores who won $3,000 for her dance, “Beyond Our Control,” with the help of her assistant to choreography/understudy Anthony Rodriguez. Flores also performed as one of the dancers in her show.

Second place went to Tamara Saari, who won $1,000 for her piece, “____ed by You.” Nixon, who choreographed “Hemisphere,” and Salinas, who choreographed and danced in “Proprioceptive Rhythm,” were awarded third place, each winning $500.

Nixon had seven dancers, some he had danced with at City, some at Mesa College and others he met while practicing at Dance Place San Diego in Liberty Station.

“They’re all just really talented and I knew I could trust them with my movement,” Nixon said. “I knew they could pull it off,” he added.

Nixon has been dancing for two years and said he started dancing “by accident.” During his first semester, a friend persuaded him to try a jazz class which immediately captured his interest.

“The moment I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life was when I was performing- it was kind of hypnotic, almost trance-like,” Nixon said. “I’m really passionate about this. I know I started late but I can’t see myself doing anything else,” he adds.