Daizha Lankford 14 ~ Dallas Summer Musicals Musical Theatre Scholarship
Hi, my name is Daizha Lankford. I am 14 years old and I attend Apollo Junior High. I have been dancing for 4 years now and I enjoy every minute of it! I understand that as a dancer I may be a bit behind in training and that I have a lot more catching up to do, but every since I was very young every time I danced something just lit up in me.
When I first started ballet at Texas Ballet Theatre at the age of 10 it was really hard learning beginning ballet in an intermediate class. I worked really hard to stay “ahead of the game” because becoming a dancer and choreographer has been something that I’ve always wanted for as long as I can remember. After training at Tuzer Dance Studio for a year and a half, I was introduced to Dallas Black Dance Theatre where I finally found my “dance home”.
Not only have I made great friends and pushed myself more than anywhere else but, I have also been introduced to several new and exciting opportunities. Recently I auditioned for Dance Theatre of Harlem and amazingly I got accepted. Because of the program costs and travel expenses I need a scholarship to help me attend this wonderful program. I know there are thousands of applicants that apply every year to get the chance to go to summer intensives but, I know that I won’t just learn things when I go but I’ll actually live the experiences and share them every day. As I continue to grow, I hope to continue to study different types of communicative art such as drama, singing, fashion, etc. I used to record commercials for Radio Disney when I was a little bit younger and I loved every bit of it, I think combining my love for dance and drama would be great for musical theatre summer intensives which I also plan on auditioning for. So again, I know that there are thousands of applicants that apply every year to get amazing opportunities like mine but, I know that this summer will help me reach and set new goals for my Dance Technique and Stage Presence. I don’t just want to learn dance I want to live dance and helping me reach that goal would not only be amazing but, it would also help me help other people who feel the same passion for something like I do.
When I hear the word dance it immediately puts a smile on my face! Something in me lights up whenever the word is mentioned. Dance is something I wanna do for the rest of my life, and I discovered a whole new meaning to that when I attended the Dallas Summer Musicals Intensive. Before the camp, my expectations were pretty average. I was elated to receive the scholarship, but I thought it would just be normal dancing and acting. When I took my first dance class there, I never thought I could learn so much in 2 hours. Immediately I was surrounded by 3 different elements of art in one day. The camp exceeded my expectations in every possible way. Even though I was surrounded by every level of dance experience, it was amazing how I learned something new from everyone. The biggest surprise was how much more work you have to do when you’re singing, dancing and acting all at the same time. I learned how to commit to a character and use it in my dancing. I also learned that no matter how hard something seems, you can always do it, and no matter what, the show must go on! My dance choreographer was the most amazing person to ever teach me. Her name is Kerry Dove, and her experience and wisdom affected me in several ways. I am truly grateful to have been under her guidance this whole experience. After practicing and rehearsing for 3 whole weeks, the show finally arrived. I was so ready to get out there and just dance and sing my heart out; I didn’t feel nervous at all. With all of the friends I made, it wasn’t like dancing with strangers or co-workers; it was like dancing with family. The people I met, I will never forget; they will always have a special place in my heart. This program wasn’t just special because I love to dance, but it was unlike anything I have ever done before. I usually go on stage and just dance. Of course there’s acting going on while I’m dancing, but nothing like this. In this program, you go out and sing, dance and act while still trying to remember to breathe! Not only did I get to dance, but I also got to choreograph and was named in the program as a student choreographer. The first show went well just as we thought it would, but in the second show I sprained my ankle. Even though it hurt like crazy, I knew I couldn’t let my Cast “family” down, so I danced. The show still went on, and after a few minutes I was having so much fun, my ankle didn’t even hurt anymore. So, sometimes when I feel down and I want to give up, or I feel like I’m just not good enough in dance, there’s an inspiration. This summer, that inspiration was this camp. Not only did it ignite an even higher burning passion for dance, it made me realize that dance is what I was born to do. Anyone who receives this scholarship is an extremely fortunate person because you don’t just learn or experience things, you meet a whole new family and figure out the stage is your second home. So with that, I want to say thank you to Dance Council of North Texas and Dallas Summer Musicals. You introduced me to a whole new world of dance, and helped me get inspired again. Thanks to this program I enjoy what I do even more.