The winner of the 2023 Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship is Juliette Laxton, a soloist dancer with the Brandon Ballet. She has been with the Brandon Ballet company for four years.
Laxton is in the eighth grade at Randall Middle School in Lithia. Winning this scholarship means a lot to Laxton, who said, “Winning this scholarship will give me the opportunity to study dance and help me further my training to reach my goals.” Laxton’s goal is to improve in her technique and artistry, and she feels that the guest teachers of the Brandon Ballet summer intensive help her learn various styles of ballet, such as Vaganova and Balanchine.
The late Richard Munro spent his life nurturing the art of ballet as a ballet master, an artistic director and a ballet academy founder in Kentucky and Texas before moving to Brandon. He spent the last six years of his life teaching, coaching, choreographing and performing for Brandon Ballet. Because of his tremendous contributions to Brandon Ballet, the annual Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to honor his memory.
Dancers who are serious about their ballet training are invited to audition to be considered for the scholarship. Based upon the judges’ recommendation, Brandon Ballet awards one winner a prize of up to $250 to go towards a summer training program of its choice. For over 10 years, the Richard Munro Memorial Scholarship has provided several dancers the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations of dancing professionally.
The Brandon Ballet was founded in 1993. It is a nonprofit preprofessional ballet company that develops and promotes opportunities for aspiring young dancers. By offering a superior training program and three major performances each year, the Brandon Ballet helps serious dancers broaden their dance experiences.
From its humble beginnings, the company has grown to include dancers of varying levels, including nine professional artists. 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. All company dancers receive the highest caliber of professional training on a weekly basis and are provided the opportunity to learn standard classical repertoire. It has and will continue to foster growth and education by bringing guest teachers and choreographers to the community.