Three Young Dancers Going Places
Sure we can!
MAURISSA (Turning 15 on Feb 24) - Madison, WI. Admitted to Pennsylvania Ballet Summer Intensive, Ballet Chicago Summer Intensive, and Oregon Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive and with this funding can decide which offer is the best fit for her artistically and financially. "My dream has always been to be a professional ballet dancer and to serve as a leader for kids in my community. Any donations I receive will go toward my room and board, flights, and tuition not covered by scholarships, and to purchase the pointe shoes I need. I would be so thankful for any help!"
LILY (Turning 13 on Feb 24) - Chicago, IL. Admitted to Alvin Ailey Dance - Junior Division Summer Intensive in NYC, a city she would be visiting for the first time in her life. "I started dance lessons at two years old. Since then I knew I wanted to be a professional dancer. Dance is what I breathe and eat. It is a way of being free to me. I have only been taught by one dance school, because of our financial situation we have not been able to afford any other dance lessons. I feel going to dance with Alvin Ailey will develop my professional career so I can one day dance with a professional dance company. Then maybe one day I can inspire and give back to someone like me."
CHLOE (14, Born in Haiti) - Ontario, CA. Admitted to Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive as well as Princeton Ballet School and with this funding can decide which offer is the best fit for her artistically and financially. "I love dance, specifically ballet, because it takes an enormous amount of dedication. It's something that you can never be perfect at, which always keeps you striving for more. My biggest challenge as a dancer is comparing myself to others and being realistic with what my body can do and achieving my personal best." She is excited about the possibility of attending DTH because, "This summer intensive is any amazing opportunity to train with other dancers of color."
There are shockingly few pre-professional opportunities for dancers of color and even fewer for dancers with financial difficulties. Single-parent and multi-child households, in particular, are asked to make heartbreaking sacrifices to keep their kids dancing and summer training is nearly impossible. They are selected but are rarely able to actually attend. We are going to change that this year!
Scholarships for summer intensives do not cover all tuition, travel, room and board for the 5-8 weeks, nor the necessary but expensive dancewear for growing girls. Here, we have identified three future dance leaders from around the country who have auditioned and been selected for specialized summer programs with scholarships. We are immensely proud of them and have pledged not to let them down.
All three girls are being raised by brilliant, hard-working, resilient parents. And I send out a special thank you to them for their help. - Shawn Lent
*If you prefer to use PayPal, Chase QuickPay, or check in order to help us avoid small processing fees on our end... this is easy to arrange. Use or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this page with all donations sent through alternative means.
**I am collecting donations on behalf of Maurissa, Lily, and Chloe. 100% of all funds go to their summer training programs.
From Chloe, who just finished her program: "At my time at Anaheim Ballet's intensive, I got to train in many different styles of dance. We also had classes/lectures from professionals in other fields like: sports psychology, nutrition, voice lessons and acting coaching. For our end performance, we learned Paquita, which is a staple in ballet companies all over the world. I had an amazing time this summer and would like to thank everyone who supported me."
Rissa just started week 5 of 6 at Oregon Ballet Theatre. She's working hard and making a lot of great new dancer friends. She is so grateful for the experience! (Lots of froyo has been needed to get her through.)
The gratitude runs through every pointed toe and smile. Thank you to the supporters who are helping to make advanced dance training a more diversely accessible option.
"Having a great time! I already have a group of friends❣" - Lily at Ailey Camp (first time ever in NYC)
"This Intensive has been amazing. I am on break now, but we go from 10:00am until 9:00pm. We have a lot of challenging classes and it has been hard, but so good. Thank you for this amazing opportunity." - Chloe at Anaheim Ballet
"OBT has been amazing so far! It's a really beautiful city, and I especially love the not-too-hot-not-too-cold weather! I'm pretty sore and tired since we dance from 9-4:30 every day, but I'm really happy with the training and the teachers too. Thanks so much to everyone for helping me to get here and I really appreciate all you've done!" - Maurissa at Oregon Ballet Theatre