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Children invited to audition for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Community Youth Scholarships

Shirley McMarlin
| Monday, May 14, 2018, 10:15 a.m.
Children ages 5-8 are invited to audition on June 2 for the Pittsburgh Ballet TheatreÕs Community Youth Scholarship Program. Pictured are student dancers who participated in 2013 performances of 'The Nutcracker.'
Tribune-Review
Children ages 5-8 are invited to audition on June 2 for the Pittsburgh Ballet TheatreÕs Community Youth Scholarship Program. Pictured are student dancers who participated in 2013 performances of 'The Nutcracker.'

Children ages 5 to 8 are invited to audition on June 2 for ballet training through the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Community Youth Scholarship Program.

The audition is scheduled for 1-2 p.m. at the PBT Studios, 2900 Liberty Ave. Registration opens at 12:15 p.m. Space is limited.

PBT will award up to five full scholarships for children to train in its Children's Division. Although the program focuses on early exposure, PBT commits to funding scholarship recipients' training all the way through the school's Pre-professional Division for those who choose to pursue long-term ballet training, according to a release.

At the audition, students will take a basic dance class instructed by PBT School Children's and Student division faculty members. No previous dance experience is needed.

Children must be 5 to 8 years of age by Sept. 1, and qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program or meet similar financial-need requirements to be eligible for a scholarship. While children audition, there will be an information session for parents and family members on PBT and the art of ballet.

The scholarship program was created in June 2013 to make the school, company and ballet as an art form more accessible to students and families throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.

“It's really important to ignite the passion at a young age so they can take advantage of training and learning opportunities during these formative years,” said Marjorie Grundvig, PBT School co-director, in the release. “Some of these children could be our next generation of professional dancers. And whether they choose ballet or a different career path, the valuable skills they learn in the studio can translate to so many parts of their lives.”

Currently, 27 young students are receiving training at PBT School through the scholarship program, which is funded by an endowment from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, major contributions from Sandy and Bill Lambert and other individual donors.

Audition guidelines, program details and the online registration form are available at pbt.org/youthscholarships.

For questions, contact Christina Salgado, director of education and community engagement, at 412-454-9105 or csalgado@pittsburghballet.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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