Houston Ballet Academy recently awarded three Chance to Dance scholarships to Carter Academy students. The recipients are Alize Bocanegra, Klarissa Martínez and Malana Velázquez.
The scholarships grant students the opportunity to attend Houston Ballet Academy’s world-renowned Main School. The students will train in classical ballet with Houston Ballet Academy’s esteemed faculty.
Each year, Houston Ballet Education and Community Engagement’s Chance to Dance program brings 225 first and second graders from nine area schools to Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance for eight weeks of classical ballet classes.
Classes include basic ballet instruction focusing on coordination, body alignment, spatial awareness and musicality. At every class, students dance to live musical accompaniment.
These classes are free of charge and Houston Ballet provides transportation. Houston Ballet is selective when choosing Chance to Dance partner schools. It has a preference for schools with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students.
Lauren Anderson sees the scholarship as a chance of a lifetime. Anderson is a former principal dancer with the Houston Ballet. In 1990, she was the first African American ballerina to become a principal for a major dance company. Currently, the retired ballerina is the Education and Community Engagement program director.
“It’s a pleasure to introduce these talented, young scholarship recipients to the world of classical ballet,” said Anderson. “Their Chance to Dance scholarships will give them the opportunity to achieve their full potential in a world-class ballet school.”
Scholarships are underwritten in part by generous community sponsors. Students are re-evaluated each year for re-enrollment.
Houston Ballet Academy currently has more than 20 Chance to Dance scholarship students. Many of them have been on scholarship for many years. They have also experienced dance on the stage. The students have taken part in Houston Ballet productions. A couple of well-known performances include The Nutcracker as well as Romeo and Juliet.
Since 1955, Houston Ballet Academy has provided the highest quality ballet training. The Academy’s outstanding faculty includes teachers who have performed with Houston Ballet and other prestigious companies around the world. The Academy also includes Houston Ballet II. Students from the U.S. and abroad comprise the second company.
Houston Ballet Academy also engages local students in dance. Each year 39,000 students across the area take part in several Education and Community Engagement programs.
In Spring 2015, Houston Ballet selected Carter Academy for its after-school program. The free program gives students a unique opportunity to work with professional dancers. It encourages students to take dance at their campus. The program introduces students to high-energy dance and movement with live musical accompaniment.
The after-school program targets students who have limited exposure and access to the arts.
Visit the Houston Ballet website for more information.
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