Every January, students, parents, professionals, and lovers of dance all gather for the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's annual fundraising performance "Destiny Rising" at The Joyce Theater. And every year we fall a little bit more in love with the foundation's mission: "Investing in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education." Since its founding in 2010, the foundation has awarded over 2.5 million dollars in scholarships. Because of the program (and its uber-generous donors), kids across the country literally get to attend college and pursue their dance dreams. What could be better than that?! Not much...
It's always very emotional watching the former scholarship recipients (who are out in the dance world doing huge things) come back and talk about how much the foundation means to them and why their careers wouldn't be where they are today if they hadn't had those scholarship opportunities. Last night, we got to hear more about the story and journey of the lovely Courtney Celeste Spears, a new Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member, and it was some serious #Mondaymotivation.
The night also always proves to be a super-glitzy and fun performance thanks to lots of high-profile guests, and last night was no exception. New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia performed a dazzling excerpt from Stars and Stripes, Marymount Manhattan College students performed a stunning piece by Gabrielle Lamb, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet presented an excerpt from the ethereal Dwight Rhoden piece Bach 25, to name just a few. (And can we just say it was SO FUN getting to watch former DS Cover Model Search finalist Tatiana Melendez perform her heart out with her new company fam CCB! Go girl! 💥)
If you're a current junior or senior in high school who's wanting to go to college for dance, make sure you don't miss the next NYCDA Foundation audition date: July 1, 2019 in NYC. You never know what might happen... ✨
And ICYMI, enjoy this peek at Marymount Manhattan College's performance: