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2019 Scholarship Recipients

Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by Akada

Ballet Hawaii, Honolulu, HI – This money will help with our Angel Program. We supply buses to underserved schools to bring the school children to see our annual Nutcracker performance free of charge with the Hawaii Symphony, professional principal dancers and the Ballet Hawaii Ensemble. We also invite Social Agencies and military children that have a parent deployed. Thank you for letting us apply for these funds for our Angel Program.

Kennedy Dance Theatre, Houston, TX – We would use these funds to help students who can’t afford to dance to go towards their tuition. We have several families that were greatly impacted by Harvey that are still in the recovery stages and could use the help towards tuition. We appreciate your consideration.

Variations Dance Studio, Auburn, AL – We strongly believe in the importance of creating opportunities to provide exposure to the arts. We feel many times these opportunities can result in positive life-changing experiences. The faculty at Variations Dance Studio is striving to expand our outreach efforts this season by introducing a sensory-friendly Nutcracker performance through our Graceful Gift Foundation. We have partnered with many area organizations to initialize arts outreach and performance opportunities. We would utilize this scholarship to support some of those organizations to be able to easily transport their students/participants to attend the performance. In years past, we were able to provide transportation to every area 1st grader to attend at no cost. In addition to helping with transportation costs, we are hopeful that this scholarship could allow us to stream the performance to organizations that have children/participants who cannot easily attend due to obstacles with medical challenges. For more information about our cause, please visit our site www.GracefulGift.org or www.GracefulGiftBook.com. Thank you for your consideration and for providing this opportunity.

Colts Neck Dance & Performing Arts Academy, Colts Neck, NJ – Colts Neck Dance would like to apply for a scholarship for our student Scarlett. Scarlett is a Leukemia survivor who has been cancer free for approximately 3 years! After undergoing strenuous cancer treatments her doctors never thought she would be able to accomplish such great strides in dance. They felt the effects of chemotherapy would be too much on her body physically. But she continued to dance even while under treatment. Well, she absolutely proved them wrong! On June 9th, Scarlett performed in over 15 numbers in one day at our annual recital. She dances over 13 hours per week as well as being an integral part of our assistant teacher work/study program. We salute Scarlett for her bravery, drive, and determination to be the best she can be!

Barton & Williams School of Dance, Stafford, VA – I don’t know if this is specifically for dancers, but it’s worth a shot. One of our front desk staff, Tracey Hughes, who uses Danceworks on a daily basis is currently battling 2 kinds of cancer. She gets chemotherapy every Monday, but yet still manages to come in to work the desk at our studio by Tuesday. Her daughter danced here for years growing up and now teaches for us, so they have been a part of our dance family for decades. All the dancers love Ms. Tracey, and she is very open with them about why she has a new headwrap or bandage. On top of all that she is the most positive person I know and such a great worker. She has no insurance and it would be such a help financially for her. When I sat down to apply and thought of which dance family would benefit the most, she came to mind first, so I hope you consider it even though it’s not the ordinary use of the funds I’m sure. If our studio received the scholarship, we would donate it to our amazing Ms. Tracey!

Dance Impressions by Ryan, Vermillion, Alberta (Canada) – We have a relatively very small school (100 dancers) in a very small town (4500 people) in rural Alberta, Canada. Amazingly enough, 3 of our dancers age 9-10 auditioned and were accepted for a position on Team Canada Dance Children’s Team, and 1 of our dancers age 13 auditioned and was accepted for a spot in the Junior Division of Team Canada Dance. These 4 students will be traveling to compete at a World Dance Championship representing Team Canada in Germany in November 2019. We think this is huge in accomplishment for any dancer, but the fact that we have 4 dancers from our tiny school, from our tiny town is absolutely incredible!!! It is prestigious, but it does come with a cost. I am so proud of them, but unfortunately, I don’t have a large school with the financial ability to be able to donate funds to these dancers to help them get there. If we were chosen to receive the Scholarship, I would use the funds to donate $250 to each dancer to send them off to Worlds! What an opportunity of a lifetime!

Rhythm-N-Jump Dance Academy, Clair Shores, MI – Thank-you for giving us all this scholarship opportunity again this year. We love your Company and your product and what a great way for you to give back! I would like to nominate one of our Company Dancers, Skyler Salgot. Skyler has been dancing with us for 8 years now and will be a Senior next year. She is a beautiful dancer and someone that our young dancers look up to. 2 years ago Skyler’s father was diagnosed with throat and lung cancer. Last night on her last night of class before our Recital we had to pull Skyler out of class because her dad, who is in the hospital, had been moved into the ICU. This amazing family has been through so much in the past 2 years, emotionally and financially. One of the big concerns is how they will ever pay for Skyler’s senior year of dance. This money would help them out so much. Please consider Skyler for this awesome scholarship. 

Taylor Academy of Dance, Wake Forrest, NC – We have 2 very talented sisters who started dancing at my studio 4 years ago. They both love to dance but are at the point where they need to take more classes to continue to develop as dancers. They are both excellent students who are always willing to help others. It is heartbreaking because even with sibling discounts and tuition discounts they are struggling to pay tuition. Both girls dream of being in our dance company so they could dance more, but they just can’t afford it even with the studio giving them multiple discounts. I know there has been a discussion about one sister quitting so the other can dance more which is very upsetting given the fact that they both truly love to dance. Both girls would be so appreciative of any help towards furthering their ability to dance more and at the level they belong. Thank you for your consideration! Sincerely, 

Elizabeth’s Dance Expression, Williston, ND – One of our dancers has been with us since the age of 8 and was a competitive dancer for the first time during the 2017-2018 year. During the year her mother, a single mother of four, was diagnosed with melanoma. When auditions began for the 2018-2019 dance year, funds were not available for her to continue dancing. She has remained a dear part of Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions despite not dancing with the studio. She still attends competitions in support of her former dance mates, and even volunteers at studio recitals. Since the time of her diagnosis, her mom’s health has taken a turn for the worse. Her mother remains on hospice care in her home and has been given an 8-10 month diagnosis. This spring her sister, 20, has reached out to the studio to see if she can return to dance, as she just craves dance and hasn’t been the same girl since not participating. When their mother passes, her sister plans to seek custody of her and wants her to do the thing she loves the most, dance. As a studio we are willing help the family in any ways possible, but the extra funds would help cover competition costs, costumes, and even basic dance and personal needs.

Art Beat Dance Center, Cedar Park, TX – The funds will be used to pay our instructor for our Dance for Parkinson’s Program. Every week, we teach FREE dance classes for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. Over the last 15 years, dance classes for people living with Parkinson’s have stimulated research at major universities around the world, indicating that the academic medical community acknowledges the potential benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s Disease. These studies have shown that dance classes can improve balance, control of movement, and overall mode. Many participants report feeling strong, uplifted, and empowered! Art Beat’s Dance for Parkinson’s classes tailor movement in a way that allows the students to receive all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of dancing. The participants are encouraged to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Students stand or sit during the class. Every class uses elements of narrative, imagery, music, and community to develop artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as isolation, balance, flexibility, and coordination. We offer Dance for Parkinson’s class once a week at the studio as well as take it out to several assisted living facilities every week to provide Dance for Parkinson’s classes in the community. The classes are offered free to the patients, their family members, and their caregivers. We currently do not have any funding to support this program. The funds from Akada would provide classes for 6 months and over 360 patients living with Parkinson’s Disease.