Wehmeyer Wins Scholarship
Friday, April 7, 2006 2:45 PM CDT
Special to the E-E
Hayden Wehmeyer, a 10-year-old dancer at Art of Motion Dance Studio, won a Tremaine Convention Scholarship recently.
Shelly Beech, Wehmeyer’s mother and owner/director at Art of Motion Dance Studio, traveled with nine of her dancers to attend the Tremaine Dance Convention in Tulsa over spring break.
“We never miss it,” says Beech. “It is one of the premiere conventions in the industry.”
Tremaine Dance Convention is based out of Hollywood, Calif., and is celebrating its 25th anniversary tour. Students take master classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical throughout the weekend. The professional faculty includes Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Keith Clifton and many other professional choreographers from Los Angeles and New York.
Dancers are given the opportunity to audition for scholarships on the final day. Art of Motion Dancers that auditioned include: Heaven Fuller and Megan White in the Senior Division and Emily Newby and Hayden Wehmeyer in the Junior Division.
Auditioning dancers were first taught a ballet combination they performed in groups. The first cut eliminated over half of those who auditioned.
The remaining semifinalists were taught a jazz combination which was performed twice in groups of 12. A final cut was made.
Approximately 20 finalists, including Wehmeyer remained. The actual scholarship winners were not announced until the Faculty Show six hours later.
“When I heard Hayden’s name announced my immediate reaction was as his dance teacher, but when he went on stage to receive his award, the proud mom in me took over,” says Beech. “Studying with your mother isn’t always the easiest thing. This award is the outside recognition he needed. Someone other than ‘mom’ recognized his talent.”
The scholarship will allow Hayden to attend a Tremaine Dance Convention in any city during the next year, tuition free. This includes the opportunity to attend nationals in Orlando, Fla., this summer.
“I’m proud of all my students that put themselves on the line. Auditions can be very nerve wrecking. The more you do, the better your coping skills. Dancers learn to deal with the anxiety and butterflies that inevitably come with auditions,” says Beech. “I encourage students to approach auditions as a learning experience. Give it your best and learn the process. Don’t get hung up on winning; it’s too easy to lose focus. Then, win or lose, accept the results graciously and never give up.”
More 500 participants attended the convention from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri. Local dancers included: Shelly Beech, Ashley Cooper, Hannah Divelbiss, Shelby Doyle, Bonnie and Sophie Fiore, Heaven Fuller, Emily Newby, Carrie Tillet, Hayden Wehmeyer and Megan White.