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HomeTenley Dorrill

TENLEY DORRILL 19  Fred (Poppy) Ziaks Memorial Scholarship 

Tenley Dorril feels blessed to have a passion and cannot see her future without dancing. She began pre-ballet classes on her second birthday, the first day she qualified to enroll at a local studio. Her parents first believed her feeling about dance was a desire to be the center of attention. At rehearsals when she was younger, Tenley would linger just off-stage and gradually inch her way to the center until she was yanked back into the wings.

Although her attraction to dance started as a desire for the limelight, it is so much more now. By high school, Tenley was studying dance 30 hours a week and attending workshops and extra classes at every opportunity. In addition to performing, she gets deep satisfaction from teaching younger children, analyzing the mechanics of dance, and studying composition.

Tenley wants to pursue a career in dance and to make a contribution to the art she loves, wherever that leads her. To prepare herself for a career, she wants to push herself to her highest capability. Tenley's training at Southern Methodist University has motivated her to have a broad perspective of dance with classic and ethnic jazz, Graham based modern technique, as well as ballet.


I cannot thank the Dance Council enough for the scholarship that I was given for the summer intensive at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance (SFCD). I am so grateful for the support and I cannot imagine a program that could have influenced me more.  From the expressive style of ballet to the Batsheva repertory, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the training.  In the past, I have struggled with being able to express myself with ballet technique.  The ballet teachers at SFCD were wonderful and inspired me to fulfill every moment and take advantage of class time as a learning experience, to learn from my mistakes and to push my boundaries.

I was also completely fascinated by the information I received from the Batsheva teacher, Bobbi Smith. Taking Gaga classes completely transformed the way that I approach dance and the way that I think about movement.  Gaga is a movement language created by Ohad Naharin.  The descriptions and imagery that Bobbi used to describe movement has dramatically helped me to understand my body and utilize my assets to strengthen my technique. I really enjoyed learning the Batsheva repertory because of the distinct intensity and style of the choreography. 

Everything about the program was truly inspiring. All that I experienced motivated me to create and explore the art of dance more than I ever have. After the month that I spent at the SFCD, I am completely confident about my passion for dance and my desire to pursue a dance career. I am so thankful to have received the generous Poppy Ziaks Memorial Scholarship. My experience gave me a great gift - the opportunity to fall even more deeply in love with dance. 

Thank you again so much,

Tenley Dorrill