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Four CBO students advancing

Submitted Photo
Elijah Hamilton as Prince Eric and Brante Copling as Ariel perform in CBO’s Little Mermaid.
By Scott Hamilton

Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks has a mission statement: “Our mission is to guide the children through means of classical ballet and other dance to express themselves and to discover their confidence, magnificence, and inspiration while creating lasting friendships with themselves, their families, and their community.” This summer, three students that are part of their dance company and one from their musical theatre classes have proven their mission.
Brante Copling has decided to use the confidence and inspiration she received through her training at CBO to take her first step into missions. She will be greatly missed in the dance company as she has held many lead roles in the ballet over the years. Her most recent role was Ariel in CBO’s production of the Little Mermaid. Copling will be travelling to Riverside, Calif. to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will be serving for 18-months as a disciple of Christ and helping to bring others closer to Him. Brante says, “It was a very hard decision for me to decide to serve, because I knew that I had a chance to make it in the ballet world. But I also knew that the Lord needed me somewhere else and that he had a different plan for me.” This speaks volumes of the values Brante learned both at home and through the ballet.
Elijah Hamilton, who played Prince Eric, has been awarded a full-scholarship to the Oklahoma City Ballet Summer Intensive. After being selected through audition, the dancers participate in a rigorous, professional training program. Hamilton auditioned in Chicago, Ill., alongside several dancers from more metropolitan areas and was surprised to find that not only was he accepted to the program, he received a full scholarship. This year’s faculty includes Oklahoma City Ballet Artistic Director Robert Mills, former ABT and San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Parrish Maynard, Yvonne Chouteau School Director Penny Askew, and Principal and Soloist Dancers from the Oklahoma City Ballet. Hamilton has only been involved with the program at CBO for a little over a year and already has the confidence to advance in the dance world. This is only possible with the support of excellent and encouraging instructors.

Photo by Ann Hines
Lydia Dixon is on fire as Sebastian in CBO’s Little Mermaid.

Lydia Dixon, who played Sebastian, will be attending the Texas Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive in Ft. Worth, Texas. She will be there for the five-week program and hopes to develop more artistry and make new friends in the dance world. Dixon has been dancing with CBO for several years and has attended many Summer Intensive programs. She shows impressive power and agility on the dance floor and exudes the confidence expected of a professional.
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Hayden Casper receives his acceptance to AMDA.

Hayden Casper most recently played Noah in CBO’s production of “The Ark” and was also the lead role in a pre-show skit at “The Little Mermaid.” He was chosen to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Los Angeles, Calif., after a process of audition, evaluation, and interviews. AMDA is among the top ten best colleges for performing arts in America. During the two-week intensive, students at all levels of the program will be preparing a performance for the Academy faculty, staff and students.

Each of these students will have expenses related to their travel, supplies, and cost of living during the intensives. If you would like to help any of these students with their experiences this summer, you can reach out to the Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks and they can provide you with the necessary information.
Submitted Photo
During an outing with the Texas Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, Lydia Dixon poses with the tour guide in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.


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