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Michael Huebner’s Blog & Column
Alabama Live
August 16, 2010


Samuel Akins, a 14-year-old dancer at Alabama School of Fine Arts, has received a full scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet.

At the prestigious New York school, which is located at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, he will train with current or former members of New York City Ballet. Akins, who is from Birmingham, will be among 350 students ranging from 6 to 18 years old who will attend classes during the the 10-month winter term. To be accepted into the School of the American Ballet, dancers must demonstrated abilities in classical dance, exceptional musical aptitude and a natural for movement.

Akins began dance lessons at age 7 in ASFA’s preparatory program and was accepted to ASFA’s dance program in 2008. ASFA dance chairman David Keener noted his “hard work, dedication and wonderful willingness to learn. He has consistently performed at a mature level for his age and shown a special propensity for demanding choreography.”

The School of American Ballet was founded by George Balanchine in 1934, and is under the direction of Peter Martins. Among its alumni are Suzanne Farrell, Arthur Mitchell, Maria Tallchief and Chita Rivera. In February, President Barack Obama presented the school with the National Medal of Arts.


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