Persis Ann Forster said dance is about finding a passion, stress relief and opportunity.

Most people will not become professional dancers but that is not the point of dancing, the instructor from Miss Persis Studio said.

Dance!Texas is dance convention that will consist of a series of master classes that will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Maverick Activities Center. Dance!Texas online registration ends Thursday. Each class is taught by a master teacher. Forster encourages both experienced and inexperienced dancers to come to the event.

Public relations junior ToVadrick Cottonham and mechanical engineering sophomore Ivan Diaz are both members of the Maverick Dance Company and started dancing later than what is considered traditional in the dance world.

Diaz has danced for 1 1/2 years and began dancing because of a track injury. He said it was a fun alternative to physical therapy and that he instantly became addicting to performing.

“Movement is essential to life and dancing is one of the best ways to move,” Cottonham said.

The convention will offer ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, tap and pro sports dance. Both trained and untrained dancers will likely be impressed by the list of guest choreographers, Forster said.

“These people are at the cutting edge of dance,” Forster said.

Choreographers include Chelsea Traille from “So You Think You Can Dance” season four, Geo Hubela from “America’s Best Dance Crew” season one and Jenny Durbin Smith, a former Dallas Maverick cheerleader and a choreographer for Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blues.

Forster said she encourages students with little experience to try hip-hop and pro sports dance classes. The tap and ballet will be more difficult for students with little training, but she does not want to discourage anyone from trying them out.

Forster recognizes that it is difficult for college students to find time to dance. She said people who grew up dancing often struggle to dedicate hours in a studio setting, and those who have not trained have trouble knowing where to begin. Forster said master classes like Dance!Texas can give aspiring dancers connections to professional dancers. She said it also gives beginners a way to try it and discover if they have an aptitude for it or if it’s a stress reliever.

Dance!Texas is also about making a difference, Forster said. She said the purpose is to make Arlington a dance destination and to offer more opportunities to dance in the area.

@arianamariel_

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