Sophie Luedi - January 2017 Viewers' Choice
I would like to extend a huge "Thank you" to Harlequin Floors, The World Dances, and to all of my wonderful family and friends who voted for me!!
I am 18 years old, have been dancing for four years, and recently graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where I majored in Musical Theatre.  Over the summer, I had the honor of performing in two musicals at an Equity Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, FL.  In March of this year, I plan on moving to San Francisco, CA  to attend the Ballroom Dance Teacher's College.  I will become certified under DVIDA (Dance Vision International Dance Association) to teach American and International style ballroom.  This scholarship will cover the entire cost of all of my training books and materials as I begin my new journey :)
Winning this contest has been a huge blessing to me and my family and a source of encouragement for several reasons.   Last year, I auditioned for seven universities for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and unfortunately was rejected by all of them.  I contacted several of the schools and found out that it was because of my height.  I am six feet tall and was discouraged that I would have been discriminated against because of an attribute I couldn't control.  Even though it was setback, I still wanted a career involving the arts.  When I found the program in San Francisco, I was beyond excited to begin my training!  
Although I am ready to begin my ballroom training, my family has recently been faced with a financial crisis.  Several months ago, we discovered that our home is infested with toxic black mold, and all of my educational funds are now being used to remediate our home.  Winning this scholarship has been an affirmation that I am on the right path because it not just a financial boost, but also a huge source of encouragement after a series of discouragements and setbacks over this past year.
To help raise enough money for my education I have created a Go Fund Me page where I have so far raised $2,000 of my $15,000 goal.  Any contributions towards this goal would be greatly appreciated!
I can't wait to begin my new adventure in California, and I am so grateful for the support and encouragement this contest has given me! :)