Performing arts students Kian Crowley and Mia Ssali from New City College Ardleigh Green have won scholarships for a unique opportunity to study at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy).
The talented duo were selected after an intense audition process that saw two million auditionees worldwide compete for places!
AMDA is known internationally as a platform for nurturing Broadway talent, and alumni include pop star Jason Derulo and many other famous faces of stage and screen. There are two main colleges, one in New York and one in Los Angeles.
Kian, 17, from Hornchurch, who received a $9,000 per year scholarship on the Los Angeles-based Bachelor of Fine Arts and Dance Theater, said: “I’m so excited to be moving to THE ! My friends and family are so shocked that I’m going there and how far I’ve come since I started at dance school. I am literally just an average Essex boy now going to study what he loves in the USA! My tutors are very proud and tell me that all my hard work has paid off.
He said the audition was difficult. Students had to perform in front of a panel in small groups and were scrutinized with every move. He added: “We were asked to prepare and present two contrasting pieces, so I chose the contemporary and the tap. Then we were put on the spot and the panel asked us to demonstrate our technique – they gave us a name of terminology to perform and we had no idea what they were going to ask next. They were really testing what we had learned.
Mia, 18, from Romford, has won a $15,000-a-year scholarship for a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Musical Theater program. His audition process was slightly different, having to present two written assignments to submit, including an autobiographical piece.
She said, “Everything I did at New City College helped me get to where I am today and gave me the confidence to audition and study more. We do a lot of audition prep in class, which helped a lot! In musical theater, we break down the different aspects to focus on, such as characterization through singing, which is necessary in musical theater auditions. My written work has also really improved – my tutors have encouraged and supported me on this and it shows.
Kian also praised his tutors saying: ‘I will really miss the teachers here at Ardleigh Green. They take the time to get to know you as individuals, they work with you on your personal strengths and really encourage your talent. College did so much to build my confidence and improve my skills as a dancer and definitely made me want to continue studying in this industry.
Janet Smith, Principal of NCC Havering’s Ardleigh Green and Sixth Form campuses, both in Hornchurch, said: “I am incredibly proud of Kian and Mia’s achievement. I watched them grow as performers during their time in college and the level they reached is exceptional.
“It is a credit to their hard work and dedication – and to the hard work of their teachers – that they did so well in securing these prestigious scholarships. I wish them every success in this exciting next step in their performing careers.
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