Jacksonville University dance students Maria Kouparri and Joshua Abbott have been selected as the first awardees of the R. Keith Bell Summer Study Scholarship.
The scholarship sponsors the students’ participation as fellows in a four- to six-week dance program in association with one of 12 major festivals in the United States.
Kouparri, a junior from the Republic of Cyprus, will attend Hubbard Street Dance Intensive in Chicago. Abbott, a sophomore from Jacksonville, will attend the American Ballet Theater’s Summer Dance Intensive in New York City.
The Bell award is a new $2,500 scholarship available to two Jacksonville University dance students annually to offset the costs of participating in the prestigious summer festival study programs. The highly interactive programs provide the students an expanded opportunity for critical growth and evaluation of dance skills, increasing their prospects of career success.
Bell is a Richmond, Va., Oriental medicine specialist and dance education advocate. He began supporting JU’s dance program after meeting JU College of Fine Arts Dean William Hill and JU Chair of Theatre and Dance Brian Palmer at a national high school dance festival in Philadelphia, Pa.