Covenant Ballet Offers Youth Dance Scholarships

Dance scholarship recipient, Mikhail Calliste, and CBTB Artistic Director, Marla Hirokawa. (Photo courtesy of Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn, Inc., 2010)

Back in 2008, we wrote about the Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn, Inc (CBTB) and its move out of its long-time Sheepshead Bay residence, into to a new Midwood home.

Since then, the dance school has been developing even more programs as a non-profit organization, and offers special scholarships for promising young dancers.

One such dancer is 14-year-old Mikhail Calliste. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, the young dancer has been awarded a scholarship that allows him to take any dance class at the studio at no charge. His mother was a folk dancer and fully supports her son’s dance training. The director of the program, Marla Hirokawa, first met Calliste after a teacher in his dance class at I.S. 165 recognized that he had potential as a dancer, and referred him to the program.

After his audition, Hirokawa felt that Calliste would be a good fit for the Boy’s Project scholarship, which strives to offer financial support, role modeling and gender specific curriculum to boys interested in dancing. Six other boys, ranging in age from 7 to 10 years old, are enrolled.

But it’s not just a boy’s club. The organization offers the Roberta Solomon Ballet Scholarship, named after a long-time supporter of the program. After Solomon’s passing in 2006, CBTB instituted two annual full year scholarships and one annual half scholarship for a young girl or boy of 8 to 10 years who have an enthusiastic interest and talent in ballet yet has not had the opportunity to study.

Dance students aged 13 and above are eligible to participate in a work scholarship program. Students work at CBTB Academy the number of hours equivalent to their dance class hours.

You can find out more about this program by visiting CBTB’s website.