2018-2019 David Howard Foundation Scholarship Recipient, Kurtis Grimaldi

November 5, 2018


We are so excited to announce the recipient of the third annual David Howard Foundation Scholarship. The award, generously underwritten by The David Howard Foundation, is made available annually to an exceptional BAE student in support of tuition and housing expenses. This year’s recipient is Kurtis Grimaldi.

An international student from Canada, Kurtis Grimaldi first came to Ballet Academy East in the summer of 2017 to attend our August Intensive.

Mr. Grimaldi started formally training at the age of 18, after spending some years exploring other disciplines including jazz and musical theater. Immediately falling in love with the movement, music, and discipline involved in ballet, Grimaldi decided to pursue a professional career and attended his first summer intensive at Neglia Ballet Artists in Buffalo, NY. He then received his first scholarship and spent a year at the Oakville School of Classical Ballet in Ontario. During this time Kurtis found his passion invigorated, performing in principal roles such as Colas in La Fille Mal Gardée and the White Swan pas de deux.  He has made a tremendous amount of progress in the last two years in New York at Ballet Academy East, dedicating his life every day to pursue his dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“Ballet is very difficult, and having started late I know I need to be working twice as hard to catch up and make it into a professional company! I have had so many influences along the way telling me that I can do this, which also gives me hope and makes me want to work harder,” says Grimaldi.

The David Howard Foundation was created by the late David Howard, one of the best-loved and most innovative dance teachers in the world. The Foundation supports and sustains the teaching and performance of the art of ballet. It has supported the training of both ballet teachers and students for many years.

“The David Howard Foundation Scholarship makes a profound impact on the lives of its recipients just as David Howard so deeply influenced and inspired his many devoted students. It is such an honor to share the legacy and history of David Howard with the next generation of talented young dancers”, says Julia Dubno, Ballet Academy East founder and director.

Kurtis Grimaldi has blossomed during his time at Ballet Academy East, constantly improving and surpassing major milestones. “Being a part of BAE has truly been one of the best decisions of my life,” he says. “Not only in becoming a dancer, but also in learning how to be a better person…learning how to be a light in people\’s lives.”

The first recipient of the David Howard Foundation Scholarship, Tallison Costa, graduated from BAE in 2017 and is now a member of Ballet de Monterrey, under the direction of José Manuel Carreño. Last year\’s recipient, Cameron Catazaro Hayward, graduated from BAE at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and is now a trainee at the Miami City Ballet School.

Photo top: Kurtis Grimaldi (credit Rosalie O\’Connor)

Photo right: David Howard


Back to BAE Stories