Tremaine scholarship sweeter second time around
By Special to the E-E
Friday, April 4, 2008 12:10 PM CDT
Hayden Wehmeyer, a 12-year-old dancer at Art of Motion Dance Studio, won a yearlong Tremaine Convention Scholarship on March 16.
Shelly Beech, Wehmeyer’s mother and owner/director at Art of Motion Dance Studio, traveled with 12 of her dancers to attend the Tremaine Dance Convention in Tulsa over spring break.
“Joe Tremaine runs one of the premier conventions in the dance industry,” says Beech. “We never miss it.”
Tremaine Dance Convention is based out of Hollywood, Calif. This is the convention’s 27th year. Students take master classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical throughout the weekend. The professional faculty includes Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Desiree Robbins, Nick Drago, Jeff Amsden and many other performers and choreographers from Los Angeles and New York.
Dancers are given the opportunity to audition outside of their regular classes.
Art of Motion Dancers that auditioned include: Sarah Raymond, Alexis Dout and Heaven Fuller in the Senior Division; and Hannah Divelbiss, Claire Malaby, Kelsey Hull, Bailee Shambles, Bonnie Fiore, Jillian Janer and Hayden Wehmeyer in the Teen Division. Art of Motion Students that also attended the Weekend convention included Anna Buhlinger and Sophie Fiore.
Dancers auditioned in three age divisions: Junior, 6-10-year-olds; Teen, 11-13-year-olds; and Seniors, 14 and up. A total of 26 scholarships were awarded in Tulsa: 18 Convention Scholarships, which included six in each division; four yearlong Convention Scholarships, two in both the Teen and Senior division; and four Performing Arts Center Scholarships, with two in both Teen and Senior.
Students attending the audition were first taught a ballet combination by Jeff Amsden. They performed in groups of six. The first cut eliminated over half of the dancers.
The remaining 50 semifinalists were taught a jazz combination by Desiree Robbins. Additional cuts were made until they got down to 20 finalists including Wehmeyer.
The actual scholarship winners were not announced until the conclusion of the convention.
“Two years ago Hayden won a single convention scholarship in the Junior Division. They announced all the single convention winners first and we didn’t hear his name. Knowing there were older students in his division we were just proud he had made it as a finalists. We never dreamed he would win a yearlong scholarship. Imagine our excitement to hear he’d been awarded this yearlong honor!” said Beech.
Wehmeyer’s scholarship will allow him to attend as many Tremaine Conventions as he likes, tuition free for one year.
Tremaine offers 25 Conventions nationwide, making the award value over $6,000. Four of the upcoming summer conventions include: Dallas, New York City, Las Vegas and National Finals in Orlando.
“The studio plans to attend Tremaine’s Dallas Convention this summer,” said Beech. “I would like to travel to some of the other major cities as a group if parents are interested. This opens the door to endless possibilities.”
Wehmeyer has studied dance at Art of Motion since he was 3. Twice a week ballet class and once a week tap and jazz. In addition to his own studies he assists classes two days a week. When he’s not dancing you can find him in the studio office doing homework.
Those interested in helping sponsor Wehmeyer’s travel expenses can contact Art of Motion Dance, 333-3412.