Bits 'n' Pieces: Vancouver dancer joins Atlanta Ballet

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Briley Jozwiak planned to be studying accounting at Washington State University Vancouver this fall. Then she received an offer too good to turn down.

Jozwiak, 18, has been dancing for the past 14 years. She participated in an intensive five-week session with the Atlanta Ballet earlier this summer, and the company offered her a nine-month fellowship, during which she’d be a paid member.

“Pretty much throughout my whole life, I’d always dreamed of this happening,” said Jozwiak, who attended Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and Clark College.

Jozwiak rented an apartment in Atlanta and begins her season with the Atlanta Ballet on Sept. 7. She will perform in such ballets as “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

“I’m just really excited to experience it and take classes with the principal dancers,” Vancouver resident Jozwiak said. “I feel like I’m going to grow a lot throughout the year.”

Local singer wins online karaoke contest

Aspiring Vancouver singer Trysh Hill loves country star Miranda Lambert, but scheduling conflicts have always prevented her from seeing the star live when she toured to the Northwest.

So when Hill saw that MySpace was having a Lambert-themed karaoke contest, and that the winner would receive a trip to New York to attend one of Lambert’s shows and meet her, Hill decided to enter.

The 24-year-old didn’t expect her rendition of Lambert’s “Gunpowder & Lead” to win, but it did.

“I was super excited,” said Hill, a karaoke host and disc jockey. She also works at a children’s clothing store, but hopes to become a professional singer-songwriter. “(Miranda Lambert) is my No. 1 favorite artist.”

Hill, a Fort Vancouver High School and Clark College graduate, will travel to New York at the end of September for the Lambert show.

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Courtney Sherwood 360-735-4561, or e-mail features@columbian.com.