Special to the
Opelika Observer

Southern Union alumni Ja’Morris Rivers, who is now a ballet and jazz instructor at The University of Alabama, visited the Southern Union State Community College dance program last week to offer a master class in ballet and jazz.
A Dadeville native, Rivers trained with Lynn Curtis and Mandy Moore in Opelika, as well as at the Alabama School of Fine Arts summer programs and Southern Union before graduating from The University of Alabama. He has danced with Montgomery Ballet, Southern Danceworks, Alabama Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Rivers has taught at Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Alabama Dance Academy and The Dance Foundation. He is the resident choreographer and artistic director of AROVA Contemporary Ballet in Birmingham.
SUSCC Director of Dance Sonja Fincher said that she was so proud to welcome Rivers back to teach her current students.
“It is a great opportunity for them to experience instruction from someone who is so decorated in dance,” Fincher said.
Respectively, the classes made Rivers reflect on his time at SUSCC.
“It was so humbling to be back home at Southern Union. So many memories came flooding in; looking back, I’m just so grateful to have had such an amazing experience with Sonja and (former music director) Mrs. (Ann) Caldwell,” Rivers said.
For more information on the SUSCC Dance Department, contact Fincher at sfincher@suscc.edu.
About SUSCC:
Southern Union State Community College is the second oldest two-year college in the state and is one of a select few community colleges to offer a comprehensive program in the fine arts.