Ani Mayo 15 ~ Lyric Stage Musical Theatre Dance Scholarship
Ani Mayo's passion for dancing all started when she was 2 at McKinney Dance Academy. For the next 14 years she took ballet, tap and jazz. This year Ani has really been focusing on tap and been taking classes with Terry Wolter, DCNT's 2010 Texas Tap Legend.
Last summer, Ani attended Alvin Ailey's Summer Program in New York City and enjoyed city life, intensive training, meeting new people, and getting a taste of what professional dancers go through every day. Not only was she training with master teachers at Ailey in Modern, Ballet and African, but she also studied with such tap greats as Jared Grimes and Jason Samuel Smith— she even got to see and meet Savion Glover.
Ani is a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In the fall, renowned conductor Marvin Hamlisch came to Booker T. looking for new talent for his Christmas show and Ani was chosen, along with six others, to perform in his tap program. Dancing alongside Marvin Hamlisch and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was a great thrill!
This summer I attended The Super Stars Broadway Camp at Lyric Stage with the Denise Gallagher Memorial Scholarship. It was such a great experience and it was everything I expected and more! Because I am a dancer who had never had experience in the musical theatre department this camp was just what I need and I felt I got so much out of it.
In the production of Oliver I was a featured dancer and part of the ensemble. At first I really didn’t understand the purpose of the ensemble, and thought that the whole show was about the lead characters. But after all those rehearsals we had and how our directors put so much responsibility with the ensemble to come through on all the big numbers I saw that the ensemble had a big part in the show and that all the main songs couldn’t be remembered without a hardworking and focused ensemble. And I have to say that we couldn’t have gotten there without such great directors, choreographers acting coach stage manager, and music director.
My most favorite part of the whole program was learning all the different techniques to use while singing from our music director Mr. Alex. From how to breathe to learning the notes on the staff. These are objectives that I will use for the rest of my career and I’m so thankful that I could’ve learned so much from such great professionals.
I’m so thankful to have been given such a great opportunity to be able to attend this program. Never would I have ever thought that I would learn SOO much and get so much out of a 3 week musical production. I have made lifelong friends and have made many connections and I wouldn’t have gotten there without attending “Oliver”. I encourage any dancer singer or actor to attend this wonderful program. It gave me the experience and confidence I need for any audition because now I have the skills to excel in an audition. Thank you so much Dance Council for giving me such a great opportunity!