After at least 30 years, the DNCA Board voted to restart awarding an annual College Scholarship to a Dunwoody North Neighborhood High School Senior. Lyn Coltman and Gerri Penn co-chaired this new endeavor. The winning essay (below this introduction) was written by Annie Solomon and she received $1,000.00. One other essay by Davis Cooke was also excellent and so we presented him with an Amazon Gift Card. We are going to continue awarding annual Scholarships. Please look for the announcement in the winter Newsletter.
You may be wondering how is DNCA able to pay for a scholarship. It is only one of the things we count on from the dues we collect. Please pay your annual $20.00 to help us to continue the things we do.
DNCA Scholarship Essay
by Annie Solomon
My overwhelming passion is my love for dance. Dance has always been a significant part of my life. I started dancing when I was 4 years old. When I began kindergarten at Chesnut, I joined Dan and Company Studios, and I am still dancing at Dan and Company today. After 13 years, I have made it to the Pre-Professional company (the highest company offered). I dance for a minimum of 10 hours a week after school, with additional full day rehearsals on many weekends, especially those weeks leading up to performances. I take ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, and acrobatics classes. I perform in local shows and attend competitions, including the New York City Dance Alliance convention/competition held in Nashville this past December. Each month, various choreographers come in to town to teach us different styles and dances, in addition to our regular dance teachers/classes.
As a sophomore, in order to further my love for dance, I founded the Dunwoody Dance Club to give students a dance option in high school, as Dunwoody High did not offer any dance opportunities for students. I have given students a club to learn a new art when they might not be able to afford these classes at a studio. After choreographing/teaching a dance, we perform at a local assisted living home, Brighton Gardens of Dunwoody. The residents love our shows that we put on for them, requesting more dances after each visit. After dancing, we have the chance to develop connections with the residents through a few hours of conversations and activities. The residents are delighted to share stories of their past with us, and we are equally excited to listen. The bond and relationships that we have developed with these community members are the most rewarding part of starting this club.
No matter where I am, my love for dance shines through. People at school associate me with dance. I even gave my Toastmasters speech in my Finance Academy class about my love for dance. Dance impacts my school experience, and my values as a student impact my dance. Through dance and school, I have learned teamwork, dedication, hard work, friendship, and time management (lots of time management, as I often cannot start my homework until after dance class at 9:00 at night!). I have carried over these values to other parts of my life, allowing me also to become president of the National Honor Society, work as a Sunday School first grade teacher, initiate a volunteer tutoring service at Chesnut Elementary, and graduate in the top 10% of my class. When I think back upon my high school experience, many things come to mind, but at the top of that list will always be dance.
I cannot wait to continue indulging my passion for dance next year at UGA in the Honors Program. My plan is to study biology with a minor in dance. Dance has allowed me to express my thoughts and emotions through music and my body. I cannot imagine my life without this gift. I hope to continue spreading joy of my own passion to others when I perform and continue exhibiting the values that I have learned as a dancer throughout my life.