November 14, 2013 by Nicole
Arts organizations exist, in part, to contribute to their communities. CCD is no exception. In addition to supporting local resident companies, offering free dance education events that are open to the public and cultivating an arts-focused dance education curriculum, CCD is also able to offer dance education scholarships to serious minded students with financial need.
Faryn Hughley was one of these students. For the last year, Faryn has been studying at CCD on scholarship. Like many families, Faryn’s was impacted by the economic downturn. Without financial assistance, she would not be able to partake in the course load necessary to develop a technically well-rounded dancer. Not only does the scholarship allow Faryn to pursue the thing she loves, she’s also getting an arts education that will enrich her life for years to come. As arts funding is continually cut from our schools, opportunities provided by organizations like CCD become ever the more important to families in our community.
I met with Faryn and her mother, Joy to talk a little bit about the last year and what the scholarship has meant to their family and what’s next for Miss Faryn.
Q: So tell me about Faryn – how long has she been dancing? How many classes does she take?
Joy: She’s been dancing since she was 2 – she’s 7 now. She’s been here at CCD for 3 years. She takes about 7 classes a week here: modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and now acro.
Q: Do you have a favorite kind of class?
Faryn: I do – tap.
Joy: She is really open to everything. She loves the modern and contemporary. Her least favorite class was tap [before], but here, she’s in a class with all kids.
Q: How has your family been impacted by the scholarship? Did it relieve a burden?
Joy: Oh – it was a blessing! A blessing beyond compare. Without it, she’d only be able to take one class on Saturdays. I know she enjoys taking all the classes she does. We know it’s what she loves. Without [the scholarship] she wouldn’t be able to do the things she does. And she really tries to put her best foot forward. She knows she’s been blessed.
Q: What makes CCD your dance home?
Joy: We were at another studio. It was fine, but I really wanted a change. I wanted more diversity, in the teachers as well as what was being taught. I really wanted her to know the love of the arts. I knew it was the place when we walked in and Ms Jere was playing Jill Scott. I said “I knew it! You can dance ballet to Jill Scott!” Everyone is like family here – it’s a family environment. The kids really look forward to seeing each other and the older kids look out for the younger set. I love the older kids. They’ll ask the young ones about their day or their school work or make sure to give them hugs. They really know each other and care about their lives.
Q: As far as the performance opportunities, how have those been beneficial? Do you like performing in the concerts?
Faryn: Yes! (enthusiastically)
Q: What’s your favorite part?
Faryn: I get to perform in front of everyone. And the costumes and the makeup!
Joy: She’s performed every year since she’s been here. We didn’t think she’d be able to her first year because we started really close to the concert date. But there was another student who had to drop out because of an injury and Faryn was asked to step in. And she did! She learned the routine and performed with the rest of the students. She was actually acknowledged at the concert for stepping in like that.
Q: What do you think she’s learned? How has she grown in dance?
Joy: Oh, by leaps and bounds! Leaps and bounds. Her terminology is there now, her attention and focus [have improved], the leadership I see in her now. Her strength is there now. She’s more apt to step out of the box. I see a big change in her with dance and her skill set.
Faryn: I learned a buffalo in tap!
Nicole: That’s awesome! I remember learning those around your age…new steps are so fun to get.
Q: How do you think her dance training has impacted her as a person?
Joy: She is so extra. She’s so dramatic! She is that way, but dance has made it more so. She’s creative, she loves to draw and she’s got her own sense of style. Her own sense of self. She’ll say “put on the music – I want to walk the runway!” She does things like that. I’ve learned not to fight it. She’s just Faryn. Her name means adventurous – that’s her!
Q: What was the best thing about the last year?
Faryn: I got to learn new things.
Joy: For me, it was getting to see Faryn perform. It gave her the opportunity to work with other teachers, learn different things and different ways to learn things. I’m very pleased. And spending more time at the studio and getting to know the other parents and students. When I was asked to be the coordinator for the new Parent’s Guild, I was really honored. I’m ready and excited to see the studio grow – new students and more parents involved.
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
Faryn: My recital.
Q: What’s your hope for Faryn as she continues dance?
Joy: Just to grow as a dancer. To continue perfecting her technique and the things she’s learned and seeing her implement those things every single time so that she can see that growth and it will help her with her confidence.
Q: What is your dance dream? What do you want to do in the future?
Faryn: I want to be a dancer. And I’d like to learn more jazz.
Q: Who do you look up to?
Nicole: That is a great answer! I hope you always say that.
This was such a fun conversation for me. Joy is such an apt name for Ms Hughley – she was so sincerely excited and enthusiastic about the studio and everything that Faryn’s done over the last year. I’m so happy that she’s be leading that new Parent’s Guild – she’s a fantastic ambassador for both the studio and our parents. And Faryn is such a bright, polite and spirited student! Her self-confidence amazed me – I know plenty of adults who don’t have that same sense of self and purpose. I’m so excited to see where she goes from here.
Through a generous donation to The Center for Contemporary Dance’s Give Kids the Arts campaign, a campaign that annually provides more than 3,000 underserved children access to free dance education experiences, a scholarship opportunity is currently available to students with 3-5 years of training and a financial need. It will offer additional ballet training to its recipient. Learn more about the requirements and how to apply.
Thank you, Joy & Faryn for sharing your stories with us.
What do you think? Have arts organizations contributed to your life? Tell us about it in the comments section.