Courtney Lopes received the Patricia Calnan Commemorative Award. *Photo supplied
Courtney Lopes received the Patricia Calnan Commemorative Award. *Photo supplied

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9: The National Dance Foundation has announced the eight recipients of its scholarships and bursaries.

The awards, which amount to a total of $50,500, are for study at accredited institutions in the States, UK and Scotland following a rigorous application process.

At a press conference today at the Bermuda High School for Girls the following students were presented with their awards:

Courtney Lopes received the Patricia Calnan Commemorative Award, valued at $15,000 and sponsored by PartnerRe and family and friends of Patricia Calnan. Ms Lopes is entering her final year in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance programme at the Conservatory of Dance at State University of New York’s Purchase College.

Anna Clifford won the Madame Ana Roje Commemorative Award sponsored by the Montpelier Re Foundation and valued at $7,500. Ms Clifford is entering the final year of a three-year Bachelor of Arts Modern Ballet degree programme at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fredrika Hill, was awarded the L. John Profit Commemorative Award, valued at $7,500 and sponsored by BF&M Insurance. Later this month, Ms Hill will enter her first year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the prestigious Boston Conservatory for the Arts in Boston. A graduate of The Berkeley Institute, Fredrika was an honours student at Berkeley who also participated in the Center for Talented Youth programmes at Johns Hopkins University.

Rikkai Scott was awarded The Georgine Mary Russell Hill Scholarship, valued at $7,500 and sponsored by The Montpelier Re Foundation. He is entering his final year at the London Contemporary Dance School (The Place) in London where he has participated in a rigorous curriculum that has included multiple performance opportunities.

A bursary sponsored by Platinum Underwriters was awarded to Malachi Simmons who is entering his first year at Edge Hill University in England to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual theatre. Mr Simmons, who is well-known for his acting and dancing ability, also teaches young males hip-hop at United Dance Productions and has started a small hip-hop dance troupe called M.A.D.

A bursary sponsored by the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda was awarded to Karissa Roberts who has been accepted for a Masters Degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A talented young dancer and recipient of several previous awards from the National Dance Foundation, she has decided to expand her knowledge by studying athletic training with the Department of Kinesiology with special interest in dance injuries.

Alexis Richens received a bursary sponsored by The Argo Foundation and will be entering her first year of a four year Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a Business Major at Jacksonville University, Florida. With economics and mathematics as her strong subjects, Alexis has recently added macroeconomics to her course load as she feels the subject will help her achieve her goal of opening a dance school when she returns to Bermuda.

A bursary sponsored by The Argo Foundation was awarded to Tsilala Graham-Haynes who is entering her second year of study in musical theatre at the highly competitive Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.  Tsilala, an excellent student, is hoping to dance on Broadway when she graduates.

In congratulating the students, National Dance Foundation chairman Don Kramer paid tribute to their broad range of interests and skills as well as their contributions to the community.

“We often cite the influence dance has on the positive development of young people,” said Mr Kramer.

“These eight talented young men and women are shining examples of how dance instills confidence, discipline and commitment. Their accomplishments are impressive and I know I speak for all of my fellow Board and Honourary Board members in wishing them every success as they pursue their studies overseas.”