Festival Dance and Performance Arts is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is bringing in some new staff in preparation.

One of those new staff members is Academy Director Rachel Winchester, a choreographer, educator and filmmaker. Winchester has taught students at many levels, from college level at the University of Idaho, the University of Oregon and Pacific Lutheran University, and students in the Tacoma Public Schools.

She is not new to Festival Dance, either. During her time at the University of Idaho, Winchester also taught classes for the nonprofit. She was a lecturer at the University of Idaho from 2014-16.

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