Dance In Italy For The Summer

My name is LeAnthony Douglas, I am 19 years old. I was born and raised in Orange Mound. I’ve been dancing for about 10 years. In 2009 I started dancing at Dunbar Elementary School with hip hop three days a week. As the other guys from our group left, I stayed. Then in the 7th grade I started taking ballet class. I started dancing just to try something new rather than playing football and basketball like everyone else.  I started taking a hip hop class which was very new for me but I continued to practice in Hip Hop for the next several years - while my friends did not . None of my friends knew about me taking ballet because I was too scared to be teased about it. This summer I plan on going to Italy to go to two summer intensives to dance. I want to go because I want to expand and grow as a dancer. In order to do that you should get exposed to as many dance styles and teachers as possible. I am not fortunate enough to pay for the entire trip on my own and that's why I am making this account.

After maybe six years of dancing I was given the opportunity to share my talent across the country and gain valuable exposure to different cities and cultures around dance. I went on my first dance trip to New York, dancing at Alvin Ailey Studios. My next trip was to Washington D.C. where I danced at The Kennedy Center and received standing ovations for both performances.  After all that, in the eleventh I was told by General McArthur Hambrick about a summer intensive called Governor's School For The Arts.

Also,  that was my  first ever audition so I was pretty nervous. I was nervous because I was dancing with people I never seen before. Also, I was dancing for people as a competition. But  I ended up getting into the program with a full scholarship. That was when all of my friends pretty much found out and they respected ballet because of me and some of them even want to do it themselves. I am unique because I’m a black male from Orange Mound and I’m a ballet dancer. It’s good to bring something new to my neighborhood because a lot of children need to see something different so that they won't be bored or be like everyone else just knowing sports. Also, I’ve mastered other dance styles such as Hip-Hop, Flamenco, Jazz, Modern, African.

People always wonder what gave me the courage to just come out as a ballet dancer. I just loved the thought of being different.

It has been a great honor training in something me or no one else could see a black male from Orange Mound being successful in. Growing up as a dancer has been  great experience especially at New Ballet Ensemble because I grew into being a mentor and a role model to the younger boys.

As my time in high school came to an end and started my application process, I wanted to be sure that the next step I made would have a valuable impact on not only my career, but on the community that allowed me to grow. I found that I gained a strong dance experience from New Ballet Ensemble and School in Memphis, Tennessee - and there was more of that experience to gain and to give back. I chose to attend Southwest Tennessee Community College and join New Ballet Ensemble and School as a professional dancer and teaching artist. Now, I am not only continuing my dance training, but I am now getting to teach, train and inspire young men, just like me.

This summer, I have been given the opportunity to attend a 3-week summer dance training intensive in Italy at Arke' and Orsolina 28 summer intensives. This opportunity will expose me to an incredible list of dance instructors. It will also allow me my first experience overseas. The impact that this Italy trip will have on me will not only enhance my dance training, but it will provide me with a life changing experience that I will never forget!

This trip will cost me $5,000 for airfare, lodging and meals and tuition to the intensives. I have been given a partial scholarship, but I still need to raise at least $1,500 to be able to attend! Any gift you can give to help me reach this goal and my dream will be greatly appreciated!

My dance family and I are trying to raise $20,000 for me and 20 of my  peers to attend this trip. Once I reach my $5,000 goal, the rest of the money will go with my dance family! 

  • Nick Black 
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
  • Carolyn Stewart 
    • $20 
    • 38 mos
  • Frances Howard 
    • $20 
    • 39 mos
  • Roshun Austin 
    • $50 
    • 39 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $230 
    • 40 mos
See all


LeAnthony Douglas 
Memphis, TN
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