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2022 Scholarship Recipients

Posted Thursday, December 15th, 2022 by Akada

This year, we received more applications than ever, and it was harder for our staff to narrow down and choose only ten. If we could give a hundred of these scholarships, we would. Congratulations to this year’s recipients of this year’s Akada scholarship!

Dance Impressions, Farmington, UT – We have a very talented young man who is currently a Jr in High School. He was removed from a severely abusive home and was in the Foster Care system. He now has a safe home and finds refuge at the dance studio. This student came to dance with us (on a full tuition scholarship) 5 years ago. He is not only talented and hard-working but the kindest boy. He challenges himself in every class to do his best, which drives him to excellence. We have worked to foster an environment of love, support, and encouragement for him, and he has just blossomed.

If he were awarded this scholarship, it would be used to allow him to audition for University dance programs where he could continue his training. We want to take him to New York this summer to audition for NYCDA foundation college scholarships as well as an audition at their college placement for over 30 Universities present at once. He is so talented, and with this financial support, he would be able to explore so many more educational opportunities. $1000 would buy his airfare, pay his university application, and audition fees. This money would be for such a great cause. As a studio, we are doing all we can to support and allow him to grow as a dancer. This scholarship would allow him to open doors that would not be possible without help.

Long Island City School of Ballet, Long Island City, NY – We have a special needs dancer who has made significant improvement since beginning to take classes one year ago. The focus and self-discipline of ballet have helped him in other aspects of his education. His mother has told us that he has been more focused and calmer since starting dance. However, the cost of dance education is a hardship for his single mom. We would love to take that burden off her and keep her son dancing.

Creative Expression Dance Studio, Flint, MI – Thank you so much for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship opportunity. Our studio Creative Expressions Dance Studio, is a non-profit that caters to low-income families in Flint, Michigan. We want to use these funds for a phenomenal young mom and aunt who has been with our studio for about seven years. She has two students that attend our studio, one an autistic son who is absolutely phenomenal in class, loves to dance, and be amongst his friends. The other is her great-niece, who has lost all the family she has ever known. Each year, they struggle to make ends meet to afford costumes and participate financially. They have often received financial donations from our building executive director. However, just days ago, literally last week, he passed away unexpectantly but due to natural causes. This man helped financially, stepped in, and danced with her every year for our father-daughter dance. He was the only father figure she had ever known. We will continue trying to find any means to help this family, but this scholarship would really help this family tremendously. We love this family and want to continue to see them flourish at doing what they both love, celebrating life through the gift of dance.

DanceScapes, Endicott, NY – I have a 13-year-old student who dances four times a week. She is being raised by her mother only, and her mother was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Her mother is self-employed and unable to work due to her illness. The prognosis is grim. She has arranged for her daughter to be legally adopted by a family in case the horrible disease takes her life. I believe this student would benefit from this scholarship to help fund the one thing she truly enjoys and ease the burden of overwhelming bills for the mother.

Breaking Ground Dance Center, Pleasantville, NY – These funds will be used for a student whose mother, unfortunately, passed away in March of 2021 due to complications from Covid. It was very sudden. The student was only eight years old when this occurred, and she is sorely missed by her family and everyone here at the studio. She has been a student of ours for several years, and now that her mom is gone, her family cannot afford all of her classes, competitions, etc. I, as the owner, have been discounting her tuition as much as I can for her. This would be a massive help for her competition fees and costumes. Thank you in advance for considering her. She is such a joy, and we can tell that it is really helping her through this difficult time.

Walh Performing Arts Studios, Orchard Park, NY – We have a student who has been a part of our studio family since she was little. Now a teenager, her family has battled many hardships in the last several years, which have challenged their ability to afford classes. Her father had a heart attack and has been unable to work. The mother became the sole breadwinner. She recently had surgery and has been out of work and on workers’ compensation due to complications from her surgery. The most recent family trauma was the death of her older brother this fall. This family has been through so much. Our studio is the ‘happy place’ for this student who has faced so much trauma over the last five years. She hides these hardships with her glowing smile and truly lives and shines bright in the classroom. If we were to receive an akada scholarship, it would be used to help continue with lessons for this student.

Liz Trahan Dance Studio, Cecilia, LA – We have a child who lost her mother to a drunk driver. We would use the money to pay for the rest of the dance year and revue for her.

DuHadway Dance Dimensions, Alma, MI – We have a student who lives with her single mom and her brother. Like many single-family households, the mom has to take care of everything since the father is out of the picture. This dancer is spectacular, and she is at risk of having to leave our program. She is a high school senior and has been invited to dance with The Joffrey School in New York after they saw her and offered a scholarship to their summer program. Since then, she has been struggling with the fear of leaving home since her mom has a difficult relationship to deal with on top of the financial stress. We absolutely adore this dancer, but our family-owned studio can no longer afford to scholarship everything for her. So, this scholarship will serve two purposes. It will help her keep dancing and offset some of the debt we are currently facing since we want to celebrate her senior year. 

Contempo School of Dance, Lutz, FL – These funds would be used for a family who has been a loyal Contempo family for 15 years. Their three girls have all danced with us on our competitive team. One has graduated, but the other two are still on our team. I know this scholarship would bring some hope for them, and I am willing to match it to help them even more. 

Movement House Dance Collaborative, Stoneham, MA – One of my families have experienced extreme financial hardship this year. Their apartment complex was declared uninhabitable, and they’ve been trying to find a place to live in other towns while attending local schools. They have been bouncing between living with family (a situation that was not ideal, sleeping on a cold porch or on the floor, and the family that they were living with suffers from substance abuse addiction) to hotels. They have not been able to pay their dance bill. While I’d love to offer them free tuition, I can’t afford to not take in income (I’m in my third year of owning the studio and am humble and happy, but I still need all the income possible as well). I would use these funds toward their bill, which is just over $1000. This would be amazing news for them with the holidays coming up. 


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