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Santa Barbara Dance Alliance to Award Seven Education Scholarships

July 19 ceremony will be presented by City Councilman Grant House

Seven talented dance students will receive Santa Barbara Dance Alliance Education Scholarships on Thursday, July 19 at the Arts and Culture Center, 1330 State St.

The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the ceremony, presented by Santa Barbara City Councilman Grant House, at 7 p.m.

Scholarship awardees include Corrie Jimenez and Sofia Teresa Chicote Barnwell from Linda Vega Studio, Manon Taylor from Santa Barbara Dance Arts, Sarah Irene Block and Kira Hopkins from Gustafson Dance, Eryn Osburn from Curtis Studio of Dance and Alyssa Sofia Nuno from the Zermeno Dance Academy.

The owner and a teacher at Curtis School of Dance shared that “receiving a scholarship really did so much for Eryn’s self-esteem and drive. ... It is not just the money but the recognition. She is really excelling, now more than before.”

Each young dancer was recommended to the scholarship competition by his or her teachers based on talent, dedication and financial need. In May, they participated in auditions adjudicated by a panel of dance professionals and enthusiasts, including Justine Ballantyne, Mindy Horwitz and junior panelist Olivia Villalovos. The awardees will receive up to $400 each to continue their dance studies at local studios.

During the past nine years, the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance has awarded 176 scholarships totaling $75,850 to local young dancers in need of financial support.

“I was very impressed by the careful preparation these young dancers had gone through to choreograph their presentations, some of which were entirely original and some prepared collaboratively with their dance teachers, but all were performed with full commitment and engaging passion,” said Albert Reid, a former adjudicator for the scholarship panel.

The Dance Education Scholarship Program is supported by many individuals as well as foundations in the community, some of whom include Jean Kaplan, Margo and Bob Feinberg, Chad and Norean Dreier, Margo Cohen-Feinberg, the Dianne and Daniel Vapnek Family Fund, the Rudi Schulte Family Foundation, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation and the Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Dance Alliance is a resource organization whose mission is to educate and promote quality in dance and other performing arts through increased awareness in the community. Founded in 1979, the Dance Alliance is dedicated to supporting the local dance and performing arts community through showcase performances, community events, education programs, fiscal sponsorships for emerging groups and youth education scholarships.

— Sheila Caldwell is the director of production and programs for the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance.

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