USF Dance Grad Returns to Old Stomping Grounds

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TAMPA (2011-10-7) -

The story onstage this weekend at the USF School of Theater and Dance isn't the only one being told. There's a bit of a "local girl makes good in the big city and returns home" tale taking place as well.

Heather Kemp grew up in New Port Richey and graduated from USF with a BA in Dance in 1999. After graduating with a Masters from California State University in 2001, she moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer.

"I just knew when I was seventeen I wanted to move to New York to be a dancer, and I think you just know that there's a lot of opportunity there," Kemp said.

"It's an education you really, you can't get anywhere else. You get exposed to so much, I've gotten to see companies that I had never seen before, just from all over the world."

Kemp is performing this weekend at her alma mater in "GOING," a performance presented by the KDNY Dance Company. In addition to being a member of the all-female company since 2003, Kemp also serves as the company's director.

She says she's looking forward to being onstage in front of family and friends who she hasn't seen in a long time.

"It's just funny to me how it's all kind of coming around full circle again," Kemp said, a huge smile on her face. "It's just very present to me how many people really helped contribute to that dream I had for myself, and so it's really fun and it's nice to have that come right to the forefront, and then, yeah, of course, having the support of your family, it's so fantastic."

"GOING" takes place Saturday at 730 pm and Sunday at 3 pm in Theater 1 on USF's Tampa campus. KDNY will also present "Navigating the Hallway," a collaboration with Tampa's Moving Current Dance Collection, which is currently in residence at USF.

Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or, or at the USF Theater 1 Box Office. For more information about KDNY Dance Company, visit

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