Three Young Dancers Going Places

$2,625 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 43 people in 38 months
Shawn Lent
on behalf of Elizabeth Hernandez
We are doing our part to support the next generation and make more equity of opportunity and access. These three talented and under-resourced dancers need $3,000-6,000 each to attend a summer dance program (even with scholarships). Advanced summer training is an increasingly crucial step in the field and is just within reach for these girls. This will be a turning point for them. We can't sit back and watch socio-economics stop them now. Can the world pool resources together to make a difference for three girls at a pivotal time in their lives? Can we make three dreams come true?
Sure we can!

MAURISSA (Turning 15 on Feb 24) - Madison, WI. Admitted to Pennsylvania Ballet Summer IntensiveBallet 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 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.
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Thank you again for your generosity. Chloe and Maurissa had some technical intensives in pointework. Lily rocked it out at Ailey Camp during her first-ever trip to NYC. All three girls are back to their hometown classes and focused on applying what they have learned during their summer intensives. We wanted to share this video of Lily flying high thanks to your support:
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The girls are doing great! Lily recently had fun day out at Six Flags with her Alvin Ailey crew and even got to meet Misty Copeland in New York!

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.
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They made it! Thanks to your help, all three girls have begun their dance intensives programs this week. Because we didn't raise as much as we needed, the families have been shouldering costs for food and accommodations. Thus, we are still accepting donations.

"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
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The girls are all leaving for their programs in the next couple weeks! Thank you for making this possible! But they really need help with NY Metro cards, gas, and meals (groceries or restaurants in NY, Oregon, or So Cal). Their families have all taken on debt to fill the gap with the airfare and housing costs they've incurred, so please help if you can.
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$2,625 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 43 people in 38 months
Created February 7, 2016
Shawn Lent
on behalf of Elizabeth Hernandez
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34 months ago
Jessica Friedman
35 months ago

Hope these dances get to go!

Kristen Bullerman
35 months ago

Blessings your way ladies xo

36 months ago
Brittany Clarke
36 months ago

Summer intensives were so much fun...and a lot of work! Congratulations on your acceptances. I know the competition is fierce out there. I wish you ladies the best!

Christine Singer-Luna
36 months ago

Much luck to you ladies!

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