Meet Tara Lynne Schiphof -- September 2013 Viewers’ Choice Winner

My name is Tara Lynne Schiphof.  I have been dancing since I was two years old, although my mother says I was dancing before I was even born.  Dance comes naturally to me, and it helps balance my life. Furthermore, dance helps to keep me focused on my goals and motivates me to do well scholastically.  Studies show that arts improve academics, and, in my case has helped me to remain an “A” honor roll student.  Currently, I am a student with at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School Ballet program in Winston- Salem, NC .  My dance teachers have each made a huge impact on me. All of them pushing me, motivating me, believing in me and encouraging me to do my very  best.  However, the one teacher that has impacted my life the  most is Dayna Fox. Ms. Fox selected me when I was a rising 4th grader to attend the Preparatory dance program with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. This program prepares students to attend the High School residential program. Acceptance is by audition only and you must be recommended to return  each year. Ms. Fox taught me not only the skills I needed technically, but she encouraged me to reach  for my  dreams. She taught me to never give up.   My grades have soared, my organizational skills have improved, and  I have developed determination, motivation and perseverance. Above all else, I know that I want to become a dancer. This is my goal and my dream. 

Dancing is my passion and I feel that I have a gift to move an audience.  My goal is to become a professional ballerina and eventually a dance instructor one day.  Although my dream of  becoming a professional ballerina seems ambitious, I have the determination, dedication, and talent to make that dream a reality.  Dance has made a huge impact on my life and has offered me many opportunities. I was selected to be featured in The Costume Gallery’s Dance Costume Catalogs as well as Curtain Call Dance Costume Catalogs over the past several years. This was a wonderful and exciting experience that I will never forget. I have also been cast in the University of  North Carolina School of the Arts Nutcracker performance for the past four years.   With each new performance, I hear the stage calling my name more and more.  Everything in life does not come naturally to me; however, dance is a natural gift. I have to work hard in school and dance allows me to express myself through movement.  When I dance, I not only feel the song, I feel the passion that each step and note reveals.  I feel that I have a given talent to “tell a story” through my artistic dance ability. 

I have been fortunate enough to attend 6 summer ballet intensives. Two at the  University of North  Carolina School of the Arts, The  Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical  Ballet,  Kirov Academy of Ballet,  Kaatsbaan Extreme  Ballet and Ballet West.   I have sacrificed my entire summer for the past three years to do what I love most, and that is to dance.  I learned so much and my teachers told me I had improved and grown tremendously each year when I returned back to class. I want to pursue these opportunities further. 

Once again, my initial goal is to become a professional ballerina. I would like to dance with a ballet company and eventually become a soloist or principal dancer within the company.  I know that a ballet career is short-lived, but the love can last a life time.  I eventually would like to become dance instructor, so that I can pass my love of dance on to others.   My dream of becoming a ballerina would is one step closer by being awarded this scholarship. I plan to use any monies that are awarded to me towards attending another summer ballet intensive this year.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Tara Lynne Schiphof