The renowned Juilliard School in New York accepts 12 male dance students from around the world each year. This year, five of those students are from Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas.
It’s a first for Booker T., which celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday and has distinguished itself over the years as the preeminent arts magnet school in Dallas.
“We’ve had five schoolwide, but this is the first time we’ve had five from one department,” Kate Walker, the school’s dance coordinator, told WFAA.com.
The five are Todd Baker, Michael Garcia Jr., Kade Cummings and Ricardo Hartley, all 18, and Zane Unger, 17.
They’ve been part of an all-male dance group for awhile now.
“It’s a very big goal that we’ve been trying to achieve all four years and I think we’ve kind of been through this journey together,” Baker told Fox4News.com. “And getting through all of the rounds at the audition ... it’s been a great, great process.”
“This still gives me like — I want to cry, because it’s still surreal,” Hartley told WFAA.com.
Three years ago, four dancers and a theater student from Booker T. made it into Juilliard, dallasnews.com reports.
Booker T. Washington says 99 percent of its students graduate and 90 percent go on to higher education. Among its alums: singers Eryka Badu, Nora Jones and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and members of the gospel group God’s Property and Brave Combo.