Patti Rutland Jazz New York Stage Debut at Ailey Citigroup, Spotlight Set to Shine on a Modest Dance Company with a Big Heart

New York, NY, June 10, 2008 --( One of the most compelling and innovative civic dance companies in the Southeast United States will spread their wings and land in the middle of the New York dance world when they perform June 30th at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre. The dazzling 240-seat theatre and event space will also host a VIP reception sponsored by Godiva Liqueur and Christiania Vodka. “It’s not only a dream come true for me but for the hard working dancers, many of whom never dreamt they’d be performing on a New York stage, let alone a heartbeat away from where world class dancers rehearse!” said Patti Rutland-Simpson. Ms. Simpson founded Patti Rutland Jazz in 1989 and after many years as a studio-centric, amateur dance company, altered their mission in 2006 by becoming a Non-Profit Corporation driven by a semi-professional company. This will be their first time performing in New York.

The June 30th New York performance will not only be a milestone in the history of this unique company, but it will help propel the core mission that drives PRJ and its work. This year, the company will provide over $50,000.00 in scholarship money so that 75+ children can take weekly dance classes taught by company members. Through this outreach program, they enable children to enjoy the enrichment, character development and positive benefits that come from an involvement in dance.

The core mission of Patti Rutland Jazz (PRJ) is primarily to provide dance scholarship opportunities to under-served children in Dothan, Alabama and surrounding "Wiregrass Area" communities through its Outreach Program. To that end, PRJ operates a well-respected performance dance company comprised of young adults from many varying and cooperative dance studios, colleges and civic organizations from all over the Southeast.

The dancers in this company are the essential resource necessary to provide the teachers that make these classes possible. Through the diverse representation of multiple studios and disciplines, they are able to offer these children a wider array of training as well as unbiased exposure to the many dance resources available to them beyond their program.

While PRJ's creative identity has emerged as a jazz, contemporary and hip-hop company; yearly in August, auditions are held to recast for the following season which are open to any dancer and welcome all disciplines of dance. This new multilateral approach provides the atmosphere, vision and opportunity that makes PRJ the vividly dynamic company it has become.

Dance is an extremely effective tool for the development of strong work ethics, self-determination, self-esteem, positive attitude and respect for others. PRJ wants all of their dancers to be well rounded, culturally aware and internally enriched individuals who will remain lovers and supporters of the arts for a lifetime.

About Patti Rutland-Simpson
Patti Rutland has worked for the past decade as a master teacher and choreographer, and is in constant demand throughout the United States. In 2005, Patti took the top prize gold shoe at Leo Dancewear's Choreography Event at The Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago. Her modern-day urban inspired jazz and hip hop piece A.M. was not only a favorite during competition evenings, but as presented in the Closing Night program, became the guerrilla pulse of the entire Congress, garnering significant media attention.

Dancers from Patti Rutland Jazz are currently working with Melissa Thodos Dance Chicago; attending school on dance and theatre scholarships; working in film, music, or television; and pursuing careers as master teachers and choreographers.

For tickets to the Patti Rutland Jazz Premier Event, visit

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Keith Klein
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