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Bristol Ballet announces inaugural recipient of Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship

July 23, 2015

Bristol Ballet is proud to announce that senior company level dancer Monica Kaul is the first recipient of the Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship. At age 17 Monica is a deserving young dancer who has been studying ballet for an amazing 12 years, nine of those with the Bristol Ballet.

“Monica is the purest example of dedication and hard work,” said Michele Plescia, Artistic Director for Bristol Ballet. “I have been fortunate to have her as a student and to watch her mature as a dancer. She is also a budding instructor, adored by her students and respected by her peers.”

The Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to dancers at the intermediate/advanced level of ballet who are also part of Bristol Ballet’s performing company. The chosen dancer must be active in performing and exhibit skill and dedication to excellence. The chosen applicant must possess a desire to progress and grow within the art form; aspirations to dance professionally are not a requirement. This is the first year the scholarship has been awarded since it was established at Bristol Ballet.

Monica Kaul is a rising home-schooled high school senior who takes classes five days at week at Bristol Ballet. This year she also began teaching Pre-Primary classes once a week. Monica has an exciting resume of performances including: A Christmas Carol, Les Patineurs (The Skaters), The Nutcracker, and her favorite performance, Christmas Illuminations, an original ballet choreographed by Plescia. This past season Monica danced the roles of Dew Drop in The Nutcracker and Snow White in the student production of Snow White.

Upon receiving the scholarship, Kaul said “I am incredibly happy and thankful for the generosity of Teresangela’s family and friends. Although I didn’t know her personally, I know Teresangela loved to dance as much as I do, and I sincerely hope to honor her memory by making the most of this wonderful opportunity.”

Prior to Monica joining Bristol Ballet in 2007, she studied in Abingdon under Ms. Erica Dye and Ms. Caitlin Gregorczyk. Her instructors at Bristol Ballet include Plescia, Mrs. Beth Barnette, Ms. Linda Bass, and Mrs. Pat Holden. When she isn’t dancing she can be found reading, daydreaming, creative writing, drawing, hiking, and watching her favorite British TV shows. Monica also attends St. Anne Catholic Church where she is a member of the Senior High Youth Group.

Teresangela Schiano’s untimely death at age 33 on March 8, 2014 shocked and saddened an entire community of friends and family. It was their wish to keep her memory alive and perpetuate the vibrancy that she had on stage, as well as her love for ballet, by establishing the Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship Fund at Bristol Ballet.

“Teresangela was an extremely talented dancer and brought enormous stage presence to the Bristol Ballet for many years,” said Frank Goodpasture IV, friend of Teresangela and her family and committee member for the Scholarship Fund. “This memorial scholarship is beautiful way to honor her memory for years to come. A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed and helped to make this happen!”

The scholarship will provide for all fees for the 2015/2016 season. This includes tuition, registration, production fees, summer intensive, and an allowance for shoes and dancewear up to $240.

The fund will be capitalized by donations from private individuals or corporations who wish to perpetuate the art of ballet through Teresangela’s memory. Each spring Bristol Ballet will announce when applications are open, along with instructions and deadlines for submission. Bristol Ballet's Board of Directors and the Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship Committee will review applications and the winner announced prior to the start of the season.

Bristol Ballet offers tuition assistance to students ages five and older who qualify through the “Barre None” Ruth Jerauld “Jerry” Goodpasture Tuition Assistance Fund.
For more information about Bristol Ballet, the Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship Fund, or the Barre None Program, and how to contribute, should visit www.BristolBallet.org.