Meet Our Scholarship Winners!

Believe me, it’s not very often I’m speechless, but after watching dozens and dozens of your scholarship application videos I am in complete awe of each and every applicant.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who applied.  It is an impossible decision – you made me laugh, made me cry and most of all made me want to drive to your studio and give you a hand turning things around.  You all have such fascinating stories and I’m so grateful that you shared them.  Thank you.

After much deliberation, I’ve given 6 studios complete scholarships into the Studio Expansion Program along with a Student Scholarship worth $500 to award to a deserving student.

Here are our SEP scholarship winners for September 2015!

Jessica Morales, New School of Dance Arts

It is rare to find a studio whose core value is contribution.  You’ll find many, many studio’s who strive to achieve and excel, but this studio is different.  The heart of this studio lies in connecting people through the arts, to ‘ignite a movement through dance in our community’.  And on an even deeper level, they embed within their programs the importance of giving back, of teaching their students to contribute to their community.  Beautiful.

This video gave me goosebumps.  Thank you Jessica, for being a shining light of what is possible.  xxx


Terah Partridge, Camano Dance Academy

I chose this scholarship for a very specific reason – and I feel VERY strongly about this.  What Terah’s daughter expressed in this video is beautifully honest and yet tragically true.

Here’s how I see it: If our students look at us and think ‘Why would I want to run a studio – look how stressed and exhausted she is…’ then something is not right.

Not only is it our role to provide outstanding education, it is also our absolute responsibility to groom the future educators, performers and studio owners of tomorrow.   To instil our passion so strongly in our students, that they too could think of no happier career than to live that passion daily.

Running a studio doesn’t have to be this hard – truly, we can fix that in a matter of months.  And it’s important we do, because when we look at the bigger picture, what I wish for you all is to set the finest example of what is possible.  Show your students how rewarding it can be to be utterly immersed in the joy of teaching and witnessing your students blossom before your eyes that your passion ignites the fire within them. 

By giving this scholarship, it is my hope that we can inspire more kids to one day aspire to owning their own studio and sharing the passion for the performing arts with future generations of children.

And that’s what it’s all about.

[end rant 🙂 ]


Juliuna Garwood, J5 Center of Contemporary Arts

More often than not, studio’s become a sanctuary for students where they can escape into a happy, loving and fun space.  It’s wonderful to know that the students at J5 have such a dedicated second family who care so much about their future and providing these kids with as many opportunities as possible.


Melanie Watson, Studio Encore

“When I teach I am lost in the moment with joy and energized with life – when I teach I am in my element.”

Well if that just doesn’t make your heart swell I don’t know what will!!  The world needs MORE teachers with such a gift for sharing their passion.  I could imagine that your infectious enthusiasm for teaching makes children fall in love with music every single day.  Let’s get you back to Maestro Melanie. xx


Crystal Monsanto, Arts for the Heart

What a beautifully eloquent vision for students, to be “Courageous, Confident and Creative.”  Sums it up very well don’t you think!


Sarah Jane O’Donnell, Crazy Pants Theatre Company

“Turning students into young, confident leaders in our community and creating opportunities for students to give back to our community” – BRAVO Sarah!


Once again thank you to everyone who applied!  If you’d like to find out more about the Studio Expansion Program, please Click Here!

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