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Man with local ties accepted to prestigious program

Published 2:21pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shaun Derrese Leary was recently accepted to Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Professional Semester in New York.

Leary was one of two men to be awarded a $1,000 scholarship into the program. During the program, he will be living in New York City for two months and will utilize the time learning about new styles of dance, exceling in his career and dancing, and learning about his new temporary home.

Leary was born in Atlanta, Ga., and moved to Florence at the age of five. In his elementary and secondary education years, he constantly took part in the arts from a range of choir to band. However, it was not until his junior year in high school that he fell in love with dance through his school’s theatre production of Stephen Schwartz and John Caird’s “Children of Eden”. He has now been training in dance for three years and ballet for two years.

Leary is currently in his junior year majoring in dance and minoring in telecommunications/film at the University of Alabama. His recent activities include a camp counselor/assistant technical counselor at the ABT Summer Intensive in Alabama, a camp counselor at Allegro Dance Arts Dance Camp 2012, a dancer in the Alabama Repertoire Dance Theatre 2012-2013/2013-2014, and a dancer in Dance Alabama 2012-2013/2013-2014.

He has been so blessed to grow in the field of dance that he won the Dance of the Year award for the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school year.

Dance is his main interest and he is hoping one day it will change his life so that he may use it to change the lives of others. He wants to begin by auditioning for companies, cruise ships, and others in the fall of his senior year. From there, he wants to catch the eye of big companies like Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Complexions, and Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance. After graduation, he hopes to travel the country and world exploring dance, and soon join the company of his desired dream. He wants to dance until he feels it’s time to pass his knowledge to the next generation and then start his own company.

Shaun is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Beck of Florence and the grandson of Rev. Charles Dale and Mrs. Joyce Dale of Russellville.

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