MORRISTOWN, NJ - Merce Cunninham said of ballet that, “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscript to store away, no paintings to show on a wall and maybe hang in a museum, no poems printed and sold, nothing but the fleeting moment when you feel alive.”
Stevie Robinson, a Morristown resident and middle school student at Unity Charter School knows this all too well. When asked when she started dancing she’ll tell you, “I started dancing before I was born. My mother, who is my role model, and a former dancer, instilled in me an appreciation for dancing early on. I started dancing as soon as I could walk, and I began taking private classes at two years of age.”
While Stevie’s priority lays with ballet, her love of dance knows no bounds, it includes various styles. She currently takes classes in hip hop, lyrical, modern, and jazz. One of her favorite classes right now is her Jazz class, because it has a Bollywood flair. She says that the language of dance and movement in that class transcends culture.
Last week, Stevie learned that her hard work and dedication, to the art of dance, had paid off when she was accepted to the Joffrey Ballet School and The School of American Ballet, at Lincoln Center. The Joffrey Ballet School opened in 1956. It was the first dance company to perform at the White House at Jacqueline Kennedy’s invitation, the first to appear on American television, the first classical dance company to use multi-media, the first to create a ballet set to rock music, to appear on the cover of Time magazine, and the first company to have had a major motion picture based on it. Throughout its history the school has raised the bar and brought the world of ballet into new arenas. The School of American Ballet (SAB) is an American classical ballet school and is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school was founded by the renowned Russo-Georgian-born choreographer George Balanchine, and philanthropists Lincoln Kirstein and Edward Warburg in 1934. It has become a pinnacle in the world of ballet and a world stage for the dance.
Apart from being highly dedicated to art, which includes other mediums such as costume making, baking and as she describes it “doodling”, Stevie was also a member of Unity’s Destination Imagination Team. Destination Imagination, is a hands-on Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) challenge program. Last year Stevie’s team won their local competition and advanced to a global final in Knoxville, TN. She is also a “buddy” at her church where she volunteers with special needs children.
Her mom, Sam says, “Stevie is an extremely creative and talented young lady. She is a problem solver and a critical thinker. Most importantly, though, I have to say that she is also a kindhearted little girl, who loves serving others and always looks for beauty in the world. Her dad, brother and I are very proud of her and we cannot wait see where this new journey will take her.”
Unity Charter School exemplifies academic excellence, combining a progressive education, academic rigor, and experiential learning, while infusing environmental sustainability throughout the school culture. Unity Charter School maximizes each student's individual potential to become eco-literate citizens, critical thinkers, and life-long learners. Unity opened in 1998 and is currently in its 20th year of operation. Unity Charter School is a public charter school K–8, tuition-free, and open to all NJ residents. The school accepts applications for admission the entire year.
Unity Charter School is located at One Evergreen Place, Morristown, NJ 07960
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