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      Dance competition brings big bucks to Albany

      The Darton College Dance Company is hosting the 2012 American College Dance Festival, bringing hundreds of students to the southwest Georgia area.

      Schools from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and other states are taking their shot at making it to Washington, D.C. for a national performance at the Kennedy Center.

      The American College Dance Festival Association has the Roots of American Dance for the theme of this year.

      Instructors at Darton say the conference gives the school's six-year-old dance program exposure to the rest of the country and it also gives students a chance to hone their skills.

      It's a great networking opportunity for them to see other people that are in their colleges, that are doing similar things as well as meet other professors, says Jennifer La Curan, Director of Dance for Darton College.

      Not only is the gathering a benefit for the school, it's also a boost for the local economy.

      Each hotel, all the dancers have taken it over. So it's really fun in the hotels. It's just full of dancers. The whole town is, says dance instructor Melissa Canto.

      Over 500 students are spending money in local restaurants, filling up at gas stations, and even doing a little shopping.

      Performances will be held at the Albany Municipal Auditorium Monday at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

      Tickets are available to the public for $5.00 at the door.

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