National Dance Foundation Awards Scholarships

August 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

Five talented young Bermudian dancers have been awarded scholarships by the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda Fund.

At the presentation this week, Senator Crystal Caesar, long time member of the Foundation, said that the scholarship legacy began in 1962 with the Bermuda Ballet Association.

In 2005 the National Dance Foundation took on the responsibility of continuing the scholarships to enable Bermudian dancers, teachers and choreographers to benefit from world-class training overseas.

Since 2005 nearly $1 million has been awarded thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate donors in the community resulting in more Bermudian dancers working professionally throughout the world than ever before.

Brian O’Hara, Deputy Chairman of the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda, Zoe O’Connor, Ravi Cannonier-Watson, Senator Crystal Caesar, Meshalae Hayward-Furqan

National Dance Foundation Awards Scholarships Bermuda Aug 2019 (1)

A spokesperson said, “Rhianna Evelyn, a student at the Grier School, in Pennsylania, received the Chairmen’s Award of $5,000 which was generously contributed by Don Kramer, Chairman of the Foundation and Brian O’Hara, acting chairman of the NDFB Fund. Mr. O’Hara presented this award.

“Two bursaries were donated by the Chubb Foundation. Eighteen year old Zoe O’Connor, studying for a BA in Music Theatre Performance at Sheridan College in Canada, was awarded $2,500.

“The second bursary was given to Jadiyah Bailey who is studying in England. Brian O’Hara presented the bursaries on behalf of Lori Dunstan, VP of Global Corporate Giving and Executive Director of Chubb Charitable Foundation.

Rhianna Evelyn, Zoe O’Connor, Ravi Cannonier-Watson, Meshalae Hayward-Furqan, Not in photo: Jadiyah Bailey already at university in UK

National Dance Foundation Awards Scholarships Bermuda Aug 2019 (2)

“Long time supporter of the major scholarships has been BF&M Insurance Group. CEO John Wight and BF&M were thanked for their long-term commitment and generous support to aspiring professional artists. Group Chief Operating Officer, Abigail Clifford, presented the $7,500 award in honour of L. John Profit to Zoe O’Connor.

“The Arch Reinsurance Scholarship valued at $7,500, is given in honour of Mrs. Georgine Mary Russell Hill, and was presented by Shalanda Durrant–Thomas of Arch and Dr. June Hill, daughter of Mrs Hill, to the mother of Jadiyah Bailey.

“Twenty-three year old Jadiyeh is studying for a Master’s degree in Creative Dance Education at the University of Salford in the UK and hopes to return to Bermuda to contribute to the community through the performing arts.

“The Argo Scholarship valued $7,500 and the Argo Bursary valued at $7,500 were both awarded to the talented fourteen-year old, Ravi Cannonier-Watson, who is studying at the Royal Ballet School in London. Elspeth Gray presented the awards on behalf of the Argo Foundation who continue to generously support Bermuda’s talented young dancers in furthering their advanced training overseas.

Crystal Caesar, JP, Mother of Jadiyah Bailey, Shalanda Durrant-Thomas [Arch], Ravi Cannonier-Watson, Abby Clifford[BF&M], Rhianna Evelyn, Zoe O’Connor, Mesalae Hayward-Fuqan, Elspeth Gray [Argo], Brian O’Hara [Deputy Chairman of the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda]

National Dance Foundation Awards Scholarships Bermuda Aug 2019 (3)

“The prestigious Catherine Zeta-Jones Scholarship of $15,000, in honour of Patricia Calnan, was presented to twenty-three year old Meshalae Hayward-Furqan who Is studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles for a BFA in Dance.

“At one point Meshalae was working at six jobs in order that she could attend her chosen place of study and is a most worthy recipient of this award. Brian O’Hara presented this award.”

Senator Caesar thanked Mr. O’Hara for his untiring efforts to continue not only this scholarship but also to make sure the National Dance Foundation can continue to support young Bermudians by providing world-class dance training.

Senator Caesar also thanked the Bermuda Community Foundation for their support and advice in the administration of the NDFB Fund.

- Photo courtesy of Nhuri Bashir

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