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Antuan Byers 16 ~ Point Park University Intl Summer Dance Scholarship B

Antuan Byers has only been dancing for about four years but has grown to love it passionately and would like to pursue a career in dance. He is currently a sophomore at the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts and performs with Dallas Black Dance Theater's Junior Performing Ensemble BLOOM, taking classes regularly at DBDT's Academy.

This summer Antuan plans to transform himself into a large sponge and soak up as much dance as he can, knowing this summer has great things in store for him.

To the Dance Council,

I am writing this letter to show my absolute gratitude for the generous scholarship given for me to attend the Point Park International Summer Dance Intensive. This has been an experience of a lifetime. I have learned so much from trained professionals, spent 6 weeks in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, and made friendships that will last forever. However, getting to Point Park was not the easiest task. I had $1,000, taken off the $4,000 tuition, room and board. Personally my family didn't have those funds so I had a short amount of time to raise funds. I heard of HUT fund through a friend and they told me I should apply. They helped me with my application and within weeks I had been accepted. A dream was becoming an reality.

Upon arrival at the Pittsburgh International Airport, I must admit, I was extremely nervous for what the next month and a half would bring. I was in a new city with new people and this was my first intensive away from home, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I quickly got over my nervousness when I was greeted by the Point Park staff. They showed me where my dorm was and gave me a tour of the University.

During the first week we had auditions for pieces choreographers had been called to come in and set on us dancers. I was selected to be in two pieces, one by Danielle Plavick, and another by David Story. Working with these amazing choreographers has taught me so much and improved my technique as well as my artistry.

At PPU we had 5 classes a day with 7 courses, as well as frequent master classes. I was exposed to so many new things such as pas de duex, men's technique, yoga and Pilates and tap. At first I was a little skeptical about how some of these classes would turn out, but by the end of the 6 weeks my mind definitely had changed. I often find myself tapping around the house or giving myself a private Pilates class, and I'm happy to say that the things that I learned will be implemented into my everyday dance life.

A problem that I have always had in dance class was using my arms to their full potential. I was blessed with long legs but the arms were always dead and man, did the Point Park teachers notice. One major thing I improved was the use of my port de bras. I have cleaned up my classical arm positions and have added life to my once “dead arms".

It is hard to find a good intensive out there these days but I'm glad that I found a one for my summer. If I had to recommend any intensive to any other student applying for the Dance Council scholarship I would definitely, without a doubt, recommend the Point Park Intensive. You receive so much attention and so many opportunities whether doing the 3 or 6 week program. It is definitely an option for my 2012 Summer! I want to thank you one more time for the amazing opportunity to attend Point Park this summer. Without you, I know I wouldn't have made it. I am so grateful and I can't thank you enough.

Artfully Yours,

~ Antuan Byers