BAE Pre-Professional Division student, Elye Bailey, is the 2020-2021 recipient of the David Howard Foundation Scholarship Award. Here are Elye’s thoughts as he looks back on his dance journey and forward toward his dreams and goals.
– I was first introduced to performing arts at the age of seven, when I attended Arena Player Theatrical Summer Camp. I knew the first time I stepped on stage that performing for an audience was what I was meant to do. At age nine I auditioned for, and was accepted to TWIGS, a free afterschool arts program in partnership with Baltimore School for the Arts. My training at TWIGS and then at Baltimore School for the Arts gave me a strong technical foundation and a passion for dance. In 2018 I was accepted to, and joined, Ballet Academy East. This is my second year at BAE. I’ve learned so much from my teachers and have made lifelong friendships along the way.
The pandemic has been a challenging time, but there have been pockets of hope and inspiration too. This fall I received a call from Darla Hoover, BAE’s Artistic Director. My first thought was “I\’m in big trouble” (a little inside humor), but it was actually the complete opposite reason for her call. Darla told me that she and the entire BAE faculty wanted to recognize all my hard work, growth, and dedication. She also told me that I was named the 2020-2021 David Howard Foundation Scholar! When I heard this exciting news it was as if time stopped for a moment and I could acknowledge the blood, sweat, tears, joy, and pain that I had been putting into my dancing for all these years.
Darla shared with me about David Howard and what an amazing teacher and person he was, and how he impacted her life and so many dancers’ lives. Receiving the David Howard Foundation scholarship has given me even more motivation to work toward my ultimate goal of becoming a professional ballet dancer. I\’m so grateful and honored to have been given this wonderful opportunity to represent BAE and the David Howard Foundation. I hope that my hard work can inspire others to keep going after their dreams. –