Spotlight finalists are nominated by their instructors for their passion, dedication and positive attitude. Award winners will be announced at the Spotlight Awards on Thurs., May 23, 2013. The evening includes the awards show at 6:30 p.m. followed by a dinner and dancing 8 p.m.
The following students were nominated for Outstanding Student Achievement in the area of Dance:
John Hewitt, 14, of Silver Spring, Md., joined the Patel Conservatory last fall. In January, he placed second in junior men's classical dance at the Tampa Regionals of the Youth America Grand Prix competition. This summer, he will be attend summer intensives with the School of American Ballet and the Carreño Dance Festival on full tuition scholarships.
Molly Hellier, 18, of St. Petersburg, is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg High School. She has been dancing at the Patel Conservatory since she was in the sixth grade. She’d like to thank Peter Stark, Ivonne Lemus and Ashley Hilton for all their support! She will continue to dance while attending Duke in the fall.
Jackson Kettell, 19, of Tampa, has been dancing since he was three years old. A graduate of the dance program at Blake High School, he joined Next Generation Ballet three years ago and is appreciative of the training he has received. Jackson will attend Jacksonville University on a full dance scholarship this fall.
Courtney Gunsteens, 14, of Land O' Lakes, started taking ballet three years ago. Her passion for the artistic expression led her to the Next Generation Ballet trainee program. Her goal is to be a dancer with a professional ballet company.
Banks Cooney, 17, of Birmingham, Ala., performed with the Alabama Ballet with the corps de ballet since 2009. She performed in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Coppelia. She has trained with the Houston Ballet, the Chautauqua Institution in New York, and American Ballet Theatre, among others. Banks is currently an apprentice with Next Generation Ballet.
Sasha Alvarez, 17, is a senior at Blake High School and a New Artist for Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory. She began her classical ballet training under Elsa Pardo at the Elsa Pardo Dance Center in Tampa at the age of seven. She will attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Penn. in the fall on a full dance scholarship.
Hannah Barr, 17, of Tampa, has loved to dance since she was five years old. Along with ballet and contemporary, she has studied jazz, tap, hip hop and acrobatics. She has thoroughly loved and is thankful for her intensive ballet training at the Patel Conservatory for the past two years. A senior at Blake High School, Hannah will attend Fordham University in New York on scholarship and pursue a BFA in dance with the Alvin Ailey School.
Emily Louise Muscaro, 13, of Tampa, has been taking ballet at the Patel Conservatory since she was seven years old. Ballet is Emily's greatest passion and she can't imagine life without it.