Olivia McFadden, a junior at Newsome High School and a dancer with the Brandon Ballet, is this year's winner of the Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship.

The 2019 winner of the Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship is Olivia McFadden, a 16-year-old 11th grade student at Newsome High School. McFadden has been dancing for 12 years. This is her first year with the Brandon Ballet. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip-hop and currently trains at The Dance Center in Brandon.

The Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a dancer between the ages of 13 and 18 and is intended to further the dancer’s classical ballet education. A non-biased judge is hired from outside the Brandon Ballet staff.

Munro had a passion for the arts and was integral to the success of the Brandon Ballet. Lyndsey Ladewig, President of the Brandon Ballet Board of Directors said, “In keeping with Munro’s enthusiasm and love of ballet, the Board determined that the scholarship should be based on ‘the dancer’s passion reflected during the audition.'”

McFadden has attended many summer programs including the Tulsa Ballet, Fairbanks Summer Arts, Tremaine Dance Competitions, Nuvo Dance Conventions and more.

McFadden said, “Winning this scholarship means everything to me. Dancing has been a passion of mine for a long time and to be able to further my education in this art through this kind of gift is so incredibly meaningful. I am so grateful for this scholarship and look forward to utilizing it to help improve my technique and artistry.”

McFadden wants to pursue a career in ballet with the New York City Ballet. She also wants to study to become a neurosurgeon. McFadden plans to use the $500 scholarship to attend the Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Intensive this summer.

The Brandon Ballet is proud to be celebrating its 25th season. Ladewig said, “Under the direction of Executive Director, Alice Holden Bock, we have been providing superior instruction in the Tampa area to professional, pre-professional and training dancers for a quarter century. Throughout the years, our company dancers have thrived due to the guidance our exceptional staff has provided producing doctors, lawyers, teachers and many other successful professionals.” Ladewig added, “The common thread is that they all attribute their success to the discipline, structure and training they received at Brandon Ballet.”

For more information, please visit www.brandonballet.org.