School Buzz: A Peachy Partnership

August 31, 2009

 A Peachy Partnership

Georgia’s Kennesaw State University and Atlanta Ballet are partnering up—in dance education. Company members from Atlanta Ballet and students at their Centre for Dance Education will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance at KSU. And participants in the program can receive course credit for professional experience, allowing them to pursue their dance and academic careers simultaneously!

On the flip side, undergraduate KSU dance students will not only get discounts to Atlanta Ballet performances, classes and events, but will also have opportunities to audition for roles that would provide them with professional performance experience. Internships will also be offered at Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education.

Celebrating John Lennon

Last spring, the National Dance Institute paid tribute to legendary Beatle, John Lennon. More than 200 young dancers from NDI’s advanced programs, all from NYC public schools, performed at the 32nd annual gala, [ital: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of John Lennon]. Performances at the NOKIA Theatre in Times Square included Lennon’s songs “Imagine,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Here Comes the Sun,” and also featured professional musicians and singers. Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, accepted the 2009 Global Health and Hope Award via video message. Terrence Mann, who starred in the original production of [ital: Lennon] on Broadway in 2005, emceed the event.

Harlequin Scholarships Awarded

There’s a good chance that at some point in your dance career, you’ve danced on an American Harlequin dance floor. The company is a world leader in performing arts floors. Every year it awards scholarships to young dancers across the U.S. (so far they’ve honored 156 dancers!). In 2009, a whopping total of $25,000 was divided among these 20 up-and-comers, chosen at random from a pool of nominees:

  • Amanda Nazario (Seaford, NY)
  • Kelby Sankey (Zionsville, IN)
  • Stephanie Wendling (Linthicum, MD)
  • Tessa Netting (Pottstown, PA)
  • Caitlin Hobson (Graham, TX)
  • Jennifer Orosz (Shakopee, MN)
  • Lucero Neri (Dallas, TX)
  • Allison Grier (Pensacola, FL)
  • Brittney Feit (North Babylon, NY)
  • Lauren Vermilion (Fayetteville, AR)
  • Victoria Mosca (Columbus, NJ)
  • Julienna Palladino (Edison, NJ)
  • Tessa Salomone (Sugar Land, TX)
  • Leslie Nzeakor (Mesquite, TX)
  • Sara Coombs (Bristol, CT)
  • Jaimie Albanese (North Babylon, NY)
  • Megan Riddle (Milton, VT)
  • Jennie Vasilik (Fogelsville, PA)
  • Lauren Zaleta (Newtown Square, PA)
  • Samantha Jefferis (Tampa, FL)

For your chance to win, visit!

From Graduation to Giordano

Congratulations to The University of Arizona student, Joshua Blake Carter, who was offered a position with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago’s second company, Giordano II, upon graduation. In the summers of 2006 and 2008, Carter trained on scholarship with the company. An active choreographer as well, he won Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s national choreography competition, dancemakers2.0, and was commissioned to choreograph a ballet for the company, which will premiere in September.

Carter says that the best decision he’s made as a dancer was going to college. “Dancers should take full advantage of all of the resources available to them in a college or university setting,” he says. He also advises dancers to form key relationships before graduation. “Research companies that interest you,” he says. “If there’s an opportunity to take a workshop or participate in a summer intensive—do it! When you audition for a job, artistic directors are looking for people they know, can trust and are easy to work with.”