Left to right: Parents Ernesto and Elaine Perusquia, Co-director Keith Duncan and Co-director Caitlin Kelly pose with scholarship awardee Hannah Salzar (front).
The Central Texas Ballet Conservatory (CTBC) recently announced the awardees of its new scholarships to encourage, support and reward gifted dance students.
Hannah Salazar and Analicia Rodriguez were awarded scholarships and Lea Paulin was the recipient of a Teaching Assistantship.
“The purpose of the scholarships is to provide assistance to students who show musicality and dexterity in dance,” said CTBC Co-Director Keith Duncan. “They must possess discipline in both dance studies and academics.”
The scholarships are worth several thousand dollars and cover an entire year of dance instruction for youth with financial need who want to participate in the CTBC’s conservatory program.
“I am so proud of these young dancers,” said Duncan. “They have already demonstrated great talent as well as great promise for the future.”
Scholarship recipient Hannah Salazar is a 10-year old student who has been dancing for seven years and studying ballet at CTBC for three years. An honor roll student, she has ambitions to be a dance teacher and a school teacher.
She said the teachers at CTBC have taught her to be a better dancer and work hard when times get tough.
Said Salazar, “Now I know that I can do things in dance that I never thought I could do.”
Analicia Rodriguez, the other awardee of a scholarship, is 15 years old and has been dancing for seven. She also has been studying at CTBC for three years. She hopes to make dancing her career. She has been a member of the National Junior Honor Society for two years.
“I’ve learned so much at the CTBC,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve learned dance history, proper technique, and ballet vocabulary. I’ve also learned a lot about myself, and that I must push hard to achieve success.”
The Teaching Assistantship honoree, Lea Paulin, is 16 years old and has been dancing for twelve years. She has attended prestigious ballet intensive summer programs at both the Joffrey Ballet and Ballet Chicago. She was offered a place in Ballet Chicago’s highly respected pre-professional program last summer but chose to continue her studies at San Marcos High School and CTBC.
“My goals are to become a pre-professional -and maybe professional- dancer at one of the great dance schools in America,” said Paulin. “I would like eventually to become a director or teacher of a dance studio or company.”
Paulin will assist with dance classes, learning how to instruct, encourage and inspire young dancers in her new Teaching Assistantship position.
Said CTBC Co-Director Kelly, “These girls exemplify the core values of our studio. We encourage high achievement in not only dance, but also in academics and community service.”
The next auditions for scholarships will be spring 2011. Scholarship winners receive a complete waiver of tuition for all their ballet classes and for one class in another form of dance including jazz, tap, contemporary, or hip-hop. Scholarship hopefuls must maintain good scholastic standing at their school and are required to follow CTBC’s rules and policies.
“Students must have a financial need for the scholarships,” said Kelly. “They are required to demonstrate that the requirements of intensive study of ballet would place a hardship on their family.”
Students who are interested in auditioning for CTBC scholarships may call the studio at (512) 396-8736.
Teaching assistantship awardee Lea Paulin preparing for her audition.
Dancers at Central Texas Ballet Company stretching before the audition.
Lea Paulin, left, and scholarship honoree Analicia Rodriguez, right. Paulin won a position as an Assistant teacher. Black and White photos by The Smile House.