By: Kathy L. Collins

The 2015 winner of the Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship is 16 year old Brandon resident, Katherine Thacker, a home schooled student. Thacker has been a Brandon Ballet Company Dancer for four years. During the 2014-2015 season, she was a Senior Dancer in the Company.

The Richard Munro Scholarship was established to honor the late Richard Munro who spent his life nurturing the art of ballet as a Ballet Master, and Artistic Director and a ballet academy founder in  Kentucky and Texas. He spent the last six years of his life teaching, coaching, choreographing and performing for the Brandon Ballet.

According to Christina Soto, Administrative Coordinator for the Brandon Ballet, “Katherine was chosen as the recipient of the Richard Munro Scholarship by a panel of judges who recognized her hard work to excel in her technique and artistry as a ballet dancer. Judges selected Katherine during an audition which the Brandon Ballet holds annually for the scholarship.”

The $500 scholarship is available to any dancer in the greater Brandon community who is classically trained in ballet and between the ages of 13 and 18. The recipient may use the scholarship to offset the cost of any summer ballet intensive program to which the recipient has been accepted during the year in which the scholarship is awarded.

Thacker performed recently in the Brandon Ballet’s production of Hansel and Gretel. Thacker performed as a Candy Cane and also as a Flower Demi-Soloist. She will be using her scholarship money to participate in the Brandon Ballet’s 2015 Summer Intensive Program which will be held from June 8 to June 26.

Soto explained, “The Brandon Ballet’s Summer Intensive program is three weeks of detailed ballet instruction with an emphasis on Technique, Pointe Work, Pas de Deux (certain levels only), Variations, Boy’s classes, Character, Jazz, Modern, Flamenco and Conditioning for dancers. We are currently still auditioning candidates by appointment only. Audition fee is $25.00. Please call 684-4282 or email if interested.”

The Brandon Ballet was established in 1993 as a non-profit regional ballet company that develops and promotes opportunities for aspiring young dancers. The Brandon Ballet provides Brandon and the surrounding communities with an education in the art of dance. The Brandon Ballet serves the community through performances held at public facilities.

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