Local Students Accepted to Elite National Dance Programs

June 21
2:14 2010
Local Students Accepted to Elite National Dance Programs

The NORD/NOBA Center For Dance, a cultural community partnership between the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) and the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA), has awarded five local dance students, ages 11-18, scholarships to train this summer at prestigious dance programs around the country. Every year, NORD/NOBA Center For Dance, through funds raised by the Men and Women of Fashion's Prix d'Elegance Luncheon and the Ballet Resource And Volunteer Organization (BRAVO), provides scholarships for talented students in the NORD/NOBA Center For Dance Pre-Professional Program to continue their studies through advanced training during the summer at national programs.

2010 Scholarship Recipients
Destiny Billot, 11, Westbank - American Ballet Theatre (ABT)
Amanda Bonds, 16, Orleans - Dallas Black Dance Theater
Zuzanna Mrozek, 18, Orleans - American Dance Festival (ADF)
Courtney Ross, 17, Westbank - Alvin Ailey - Senior Program
Raven Ross, 16, Orleans - San Francisco Conservatory

In order to apply for a scholarship, dancers must have an exceptional level of performance quality and artistic interpretation. Eligibility for these scholarships is based on students' demonstrated talent, technical skill, determination and drive, as well as attendance records, teacher recommendations, and personal essay submissions. In addition to performance requirements at locAl Nord/NOBA Center For Dance events throughout the year, recipients are expected to keep a daily journal of their summer dance experiences to submit at the end of their training.

Two of this year's recipients, Zuzana Mrozek and Courtney Ross, are graduating seniors from Lusher Charter High School who have been training since 2003 with the Center For Dance. Through the CFD, Mrozek and Ross have taken master classes and attended summer intensives with professional dancers from around the world. They have also performed with the NORD/NOBA Center For Dance Company in three national tours, including performances at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (MA) in 2007, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C in 2008, and the 2009 Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.

Ross has taken master classes and attended summer intensives with professional companies for the past six years, including Debbie Allen, Urban Ballet Theater, and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet. "Being accepted to the Alvin Ailey School Pre-Professional Summer Intensive for the summer is such a great honor, and being able to study there will aid me in tapping into my full potential as a versatile dancer," said Ross. She will begin this fall as a freshman at the highly competitive Ailey/Fordham Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Fordham University at Lincoln Center.

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