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Berklee will award Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s Formation Scholars Award to Sadiya Ramos, a sophomore studying dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Ramos, who is originally from Suffern, New York, began dancing at the age of 6 under the guidance of Arthur Mitchell at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she was asked to perform with their ensemble at the Kennedy Center and the White House. By age 8, she was studying at Ballet Academy East’s pre-professional program with Darla Hoover. Ramos worked with François Perron at the French Academie of Ballet as a teenager, where she acquired the instruction needed to develop her individual style and improve her performance skills. Building on her classical ballet training, she joined the Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble four years later to increase her knowledge of modern dance. During her time there, she performed as a soloist in an excerpt from Taylor’s Brandenburgs.
While training with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy during the summer of 2015, Ramos was invited to perform with Allen’s dancers for the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for an audience of 62,000. She was also selected to dance on stage as Stevie Wonder performed at the event.
As a senior in high school, Ramos was invited to collaborate in a peaceful protest against police brutality with MoNL Music, based in New York. Through her performance, she supported the artistic endeavors of other like-minded students. This summer, she is training at Alonzo King's Lines Ballet in San Francisco, California, where she will continue to progress in her dance training.
“Sadiya Ramos personifies the dedication and artistry of Beyoncé here at the Conservatory, and we are honored to announce her as the recipient of the Formation Scholars Award,” said Cathy Young, executive director of Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “Sadiya’s energy and talent know no limits, and I know she will continue to excel as a dancer and artist as a student, and in the future.”
“I am tremendously humbled and honored to receive Beyoncé’s Formation Scholars Award on behalf of Boston Conservatory at Berklee,” said Ramos. “Beyoncé’s artistry and determination has inspired me as a dancer, and I plan to pay tribute and expound on her legacy at the Conservatory with this scholarship.”
Current and incoming female undergraduate and graduate students, including those enrolled at the college’s campuses in Boston and Valencia, Spain, and Berklee Online, were eligible for the scholarship. The Formation Scholars Awards encourage and support young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident, and unafraid to think outside the box.
The $25,000 scholarship was offered to female students studying music, creative arts, literature, or African American studies at four selected institutions, which, in addition to Berklee, include Spelman College, Howard University, and Parsons School of Design, for the 2017–2018 academic year. Along with their applications, students were required to submit a short essay stating how Lemonade inspired their educational goals.