Students Earn Dance Foundation Scholarships

July 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

T’aja Williams, Vidya Cannonier-Watson, Ravi Cannonier-Watson, Myles Smith, Honor Minors, Onuri Smith, Ava Moreno, Eden Furbert, and Naysaa Tucker all earned 2023 National Dance Foundation scholarships and awards.

A spokesperson said, “This year’s National Dance Foundation Fund Scholarship Presentation 2023 took place on Tuesday, July 25th in the Bermudez Room at O’Hara House AXA/XL. In 2005 the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda took on the responsibility of continuing scholarships in honour of founding members of the Bermuda Ballet Association and growing the scholarship fund to enable more Bermudian dancers, teachers and choreographers to benefit from world-class training overseas.

“Since then, over $1 million has been awarded thanks to the charitable generosity of individual and corporate donors in the community. There are now more Bermudian dancers working professionally throughout the world than ever before. NDFB Fund Scholarship Committee member Crystal Caesar, JP MP and Chairman and Fund Advisor, Mr. Brian O’Hara, presented the awards.

Back row: T’aja Williams, Vidya Cannonier Watson, Ravi Cannonier Watson, Honor Minors and Myles Smith. Front row: Mary Faulkenberry, Natalie Chiaramonte, Faith Humann, Brian O’Hara and William Usher:

NDFB Fund Scholarship Presentation July 2023_2

“A bursary in the amount of $7,500 generously sponsored by The Chubb Charitable Foundation – Bermuda will be shared between four deserving young dancers.

“They are Honor Minors, who will be a freshman at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee studying for a BFA in Commercial Dance; Ava Moreno, who is entering her senior year at the Grier School in Pennsylvania; Eden Furbert, who is entering 11th grade at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Naysaa Tucker, who will be a Sophomore at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Natalie Chiaramonte, President of Sovereign Risk Insurance Limited and Trustee of the Chubb Charitable Foundation-Bermuda, was in attendance to present these awards.

“A bursary donated by members of the NDFB Fund Scholarship Committee in the amount of $1,250 was awarded to Myles Smith, who is studying Dance Performance at the Liverpool Media Academy in London. Mary Faulkenberry, NDFB Fund Scholarship Committee member and Development Officer presented the award.

“Vidya Cannonier-Watson was awarded The Arch Scholarship of $7,500, established in honour of Madame Ana Roje, a founding member of the BBA. Vidya will be entering the 6th Form at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in the UK. She is described as athletic with beautiful artistry and extremely motivated. William Usher, AVP, Financial Reporting at Arch Reinsurance and Secretary of the Arch Charitable Committee presented the scholarship. The NDFB Scholarship Committee wishes Vidya well as she continues to impress and excel in her studies.

Ravi Cannonier Watson who was awarded the Catherine Zeta Jones Scholarship valued at $15,000 with Brian O’Hara NDFB Fund Chairman and Fund Advisor.

NDFB Fund Scholarship Presentation July 2023_1

“The Christian Humann Foundation Scholarship, in honour of Mrs. Georgine Mary Russell Hill, valued at $7,500, was awarded to Onuri Smith. Onuri is studying for a BA Honors Musical Theatre degree at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London with a focus on dance performance and contextual studies.

“A highlight for Onuri was performing at “Move It 2023”, one of the UK’s biggest dance events. Onuri’s dream is to perform on the West End or Broadway. He is eager to one day return to Bermuda and share his passion for the arts and activism. The award was presented by Mrs. Faith Humann of the Christian Humann Foundation and Dr. June Hill, Mrs. Hill’s daughter.

“The Bermuda Ballet Association Scholarship, established in honour of L. John Profit, a founding member of the BBA, and valued at $7,500, was presented to T’aja Williams. T’aja will be a sophomore at George Mason University in Virginia where she is pursuing a BFA in Dance. T’aja completed a summer program with renowned Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco this summer. Notably, T’aja has been characterized as one of the strongest all-round dancers to enter the program at George Mason. Mary Faulkenberry, NDFB Fund Scholarship Committee member and Development Officer and past member of the Bermuda Ballet Association presented the award.

“The final presentation was the Catherine Zeta-Jones Scholarship, valued at $15,000 in honour of Patricia Calnan, a founding member of the Bermuda Ballet Association, a revered and passionate arts critic and friend to many in the arts community. This year’s recipient was Ravi Cannonier-Watson, who proudly accepted this most prestigious scholarship presented by NDFB Fund Chairman and Fund Advisor, Mr. Brian O’Hara.

“Ravi will be entering his final year at the Royal Ballet School in London where he will be coached in the audition process, priming him for his entry into the professional dance industry. Ravi’s classical training at the Royal Ballet has prepared him well to perform classical or contemporary dance. Although his hope is to join the Royal Ballet company initially, he is certain to have a bright career in any professional dance company. Mr. Brian O’Hara presented the award.

“The National Dance Foundation continues to thank the Bermuda Community Foundation for their support and advice and O’Hara House at AXA/XL for their exceptional hospitality throughout the years. The award ceremony closed with the NDFB Scholarship Committee thanking its donors and attendees for their presence and committed investment in talented Bermudians, whom they know will make their mark in the dance world.”

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