Elijah Richardson - August 2015 Viewers' Choice

Wow! What an honor to receive this scholarship from Harlequin Floors! I honestly could not have done it without the encouragement, influence, and support from my family, friends, dance community and God.

I have been dancing since I was 12 years old, a late start compared to most, but having a figure skating and musical theatre background has definitely shaped how I express myself while performing.

I started training by competing on the dance teams at Hoover Middle School and Lincoln High School in San Jose, CA  as well as dropping in contemporary, hip-hop, and ballet classes at Norcal Dance Arts (NCDA) and Capitol Dance Company (CDC).

I am currently a sophomore dance major at Chapman University in Orange, CA and study ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and improvisation.

Dancing has been a great creative outlet because I find there is always room for improvement; there is a constant search for new ways of interpreting movement and every time you perform the same piece live, it will feel different emotionally and physically. That is the most intriguing thing about dance to me. For example, I discovered the music I used for my improv performance from previously learning a dance to it three years ago. The dance was totally different but had the same “static” movement quality which inspired my video.

After receiving my college degree, I hope to move to New York in pursuit of a longtime dream of being on Broadway, or join a contemporary company. As I am slowly being more exposed to the dance world, there are endless possibilities in what I am capable of doing as a professional dancer, which is pretty exciting.

Once again, thank you for this much-needed scholarship!!