PORTLAND – The University of Southern Maine and Portland Ballet have announced the creation of the USM-Portland Ballet Scholarship. The award was designed for a student in any field of study at the university who is a member of the Portland Ballet’s company of dancers. It was presented for the first time to Tyler Sperry of Auburn.

Sperry, a business administration major at USM, has been performing with the Portland Ballet Co. since 1999. He is noted for his classical role in the “Victorian Nutcracker” as the snow prince and has starred in contemporary dance productions like “Carmina Burana” and “Somebody.”

“Portland Ballet is honored to collaborate with USM on the establishment of this new scholarship,” said Leslie T. Gibbons, Portland Ballet director of development. “This is a unique way to allow professional dancers to perform with our company while pursuing a full-time education at USM. We are thrilled to partner with USM on this and other opportunities that promote arts in education.”

The scholarship was created in effort to keep young dancers in Maine while pursuing an education. Nominations are made by Portland Ballet, which is located on Forest Avenue. The recipient is chosen by USM theatre department faculty.

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