Young Men’s Scholarship Program Offers Comprehensive, Tuition-free Training for Ages 6-18

Nashville Ballet announces the launch of its Young Men’s Scholarship Program beginning August 2016, which will provide comprehensive ballet training for males age 6-18 of all experience levels. The program will offer students one full academic year of tuition-free training, followed by merit-based scholarships.

The program is spearheaded by Nashville Ballet company dancers Jon Upleger, Judson Veach and Gerald Watson, who will serve as Principal Instructors for the classes. Upleger, Veach and Watson developed the program to create an accessible way for young men to become introduced to the athleticism and art of ballet.

“Dance was initially an outlet to channel my energy into something positive and keep me out of trouble, but it actually did something much greater—it gave me lifelong friends and a career path,” Watson said. “I want to pay it forward and show other young men where they can go because of ballet. Some will go on to professional ballet careers and some won’t, but they will all develop the skills to be successful wherever they end up going.”

The all-boys classes will be taught by men and will focus on specific male technique, offering the unique opportunity to shape skills at an early age and build upon them to prepare students for collegiate training or a professional dance career. The program will be divided into age-appropriate classes emphasizing athleticism, strength, discipline, camaraderie, character-building and creative expression.

“Very few ballet programs nationwide offer male-specific ballet curriculum beginning at an early age and continuing through the teenage years,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “Unique challenges need to be addressed as males develop both inside the studio and out. Not only will this program build a community for males to push each other as dancers, but also a way for young men to find their way in the world.”

The year-round program runs August 22, 2016 - May 6, 2017. Classes meet weekly and vary depending on age. Registration is now open. Students are encouraged to register by Friday, July 29, but will be accepted on a rolling basis for the first year. No dance experience is required. For more information, visit Nashville Ballet’s website. To register, call (615) 297-2966 x203.

About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 75,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70.

Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional private support provided by Ingram Charitable Trust, The Shubert Foundation, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, Caterpillar Financial, The HCA Foundation, The Memorial Foundation, Publix Super Market Charities, Dollar General, Nashville Predators Foundation, SunTrust Bank and hundreds of generous individuals who contribute to the Annual Fund.

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AuthorNashville Ballet