Pictured (L to R) are: scholarship winners Mackenzie Langhorn, Makenna Miller, Mya Heaton, Maelle Hauck, Talia Kelley, Maddy Hart and Emma Bradford. Photo Provided.
Pictured (L to R) are: scholarship winners Mackenzie Langhorn, Makenna Miller, Mya Heaton, Maelle Hauck, Talia Kelley, Maddy Hart and Emma Bradford. Photo Provided.
The recipients of seven Memorial Scholarships were recently announced at Debra Collier's School of Dance.

The scholarships, named in memory of former students Ashleigh Bruner, Jacquline Egolf, Melissa Eigenberg Vogt, Emma Martin, Lori Rigsby and Madison Shipley, and former dance parent Cindy Crane, were developed by the studio to offer opportunities to students through financial assistance and also encourage students through the recognition of their efforts, according to a provided news release.

Each recipient submitted a reflective essay on how the pandemic has impacted them. The theme asked students to describe how their perspective about dance was changed, how limited social gatherings affected them, etc.

The recipients, Emma Bradford, Maddy Hart, Maelle Hauck, Mya Heaton, Talia Kelley, Mackenzie Langhorn and Makenna Miller, each received a $500 scholarship from the studio for the 2021-22 annual season.

“As I read the reports,” said instructor Tammy Seibold, “I saw a consistent theme. The dancers kept referring to the studio as their ‘home.’ One dancer wrote, ‘When the moment came that we were allowed to go back to the dance school for classes and be with everyone again, I felt in the pit of my stomach that I am home again. I did not truly understand until that moment how much dance really meant to me.’ Another dancer wrote, ‘Sure, I had other things I enjoyed doing, but nothing felt like home other than dancing in the studio or on a stage with my best friends and just letting myself loose into the choreography.’ The essays were overflowing with the expressions of the loss they felt when dance was taken away and the joy they felt when we reopened.  One dancer’s closing sentence was so poignant, ‘2020 helped me realize that I really love my friends, dance is my second home, motivation can be hard sometimes, and I deserve to feel confident in myself.’  Knowing what our studio offers these students through dance is the best way I can think of to honor the memories of those that inspired our scholarships.”

Debra Collier's School of Dance has been educating students since 1977 and offers a wide variety of classes for dancers of all ages and levels. The studio provides many opportunities for students to develop their interest in dance, including performance groups and fun monthly themes. Registration is currently open for the studio's summer session.

For more information about the programs offered, contact the studio at 574-267-7055 or visit collierdance.com.