Dana M. Reed grew up in Mississippi and discovered her love for dance at the early age of three. Dana graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a BFA in Dance Education in 2003. Dana has been a part of the Bates Dance Festival’s Youth Arts Program since 2002, starting her journey as an intern and moved to director in 2008. Currently, Dana lives in New Orleans, LA and is the Director of Hope Stone Kids; a free arts education program for New Orleans youth. She is the artistic director of her dance company, Alternative Collaborations Dance and was awarded performance residencies at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans, Chen Dance Center in New York City and an artistic residency at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Indonesia. Dana has also performed with many dance companies in New York City and is currently performing with Artist Inc and Gris Gris Strut in New Orleans. However, her true passion lies in teaching dance to others; which she has taught world-wide for over ten years. Dana believes that art has encouraged her to respect herself and others and to have pride in her work. It has also allowed her to create an original artistic voice and the strength to move forward no matter what obstacles she may encounter. This is why Dana finds instruction in the arts a necessity in all communities.