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HomeHannah Schoendorf 2011

Hannah Schoendorf 15 ~ Kittie LaPointe Peterson Scholarship

Hannah Lynn Schoendorf has been studying the art of Classical Ballet for twelve years. Until this year, she studied with Hugh Nini of The Denton Ballet Academy, leading to many accomplishments in the studio, on stage, and in life. Hannah has also had the opportunity to train in the summer with other wonderful teachers at excellent schools, gaining much knowledge from the various programs. Each offered something different and provided new learning experiences.

Although she has been offered multiple training positions in various Ballet Companies over the past 24 months, it wasn’t until last summer at The Harid Conservatory, that Hannah found a training program that was structured around the same classical teaching principles as Mr. Nini's. She knew Harid was the place for her and when she was offered a spot in their year 'round training program with a full tuition scholarship, Hannah leapt at the opportunity.

The journey to become a professional ballet dancer requires many sacrifices; the hardest one so far has been leaving her family at such a young age. Hannah's family is her biggest support— continually making sacrifices so she can accomplish her dream of becoming a ballerina.

This year I was so fortunate to be able to receive the Kittie LaPoint Peterson Scholarship through the Dance Council. Without such a wonderful program I would not have been able to experience the Joffrey Chicago Summer Program, as well as the past summer programs.

This summer I spent much of my training at the Joffrey Chicago Summer Program. Going into this, I really did not know what to expect from this program, not having too much knowledge about their company and academy. After the completion of my first week I was absolutely blown away, not only by the teachers, training, and amazing repertoire, but by the true quality in every aspect of the school. By mid-program I had a feeling that this place was special and somewhere where I really fit in, regarding my technique and strengths as a ballet dancer. That made it extremely easy for me to accept the Trainee position that they had offered me earlier in the year during their national audition tour.

I am so excited to be able to be advancing to a program that will expose me to the professionalism of being in a company, and offer me so many performance opportunities’ that I would not be offered anywhere else. I am also very thrilled to be training among such a qualified and experienced faculty, that will continue to assist me in improving every aspect of my technique, and help me grow as a dancer both physically and artistically.

After my amazing experience at the Joffrey Ballet I jumped into another great challenge in New York at the Bolshoi. This program introduced me entirely to a culture that I have never been so exposed to. It was such an experience to take class with these teachers that spoke only Russian and, dancing and partnering with students from the Bolshoi Academy, and of course being in New York is always an experience in itself. I loved dancing in the Koch Theater where Balanchine choreographed many of his great works, and just out on a whim I just happened to run into Twyla Tharp, and many other professional ballet dancers.

Overall I feel that my summer has been more than successful, and with this scholarship I was able to gain so much knowledge that I will carry through my entire life as a dancer. I feel that the vast combination of programs has really expanded my horizons and opened many doors for years to come. So many opportunities have presented themselves in such a way it feels as though it is all meant to be. I am so fortunate and blessed to be able to proceed and take on this following year with Joffrey Chicago as a trainee.

Though this is a giant step in my life as both a dancer and a young adult, stepping into a world that I am not yet fully acquainted with, I know that with God’s guidance and the loving knowledge and wisdom of my parents and peers around me will help me get through these challenging steps in life. But ultimately I want to thank Dance Council for allowing my parents to be able to support me in any and every possible way, because I know that they would do anything in the world for me, but this scholarship just made it a little easier. I know that I will never be able to repay them for everything that they have sacrificed for me, and I love them with all my heart for it. But I hope that one day it will all be worth the hours of classes, my months away from home and the tears, when I can step out on a stage and show them what “we” have been working so hard for my entire life.

I again want to thank Dance Council for all of their Help and guidance the past few years, and the support provided to me and my family. Without you this summer and coming year would not have even been a thought.

Thank you,

~ Hannah Lynn Schoendorf