Each year as high school graduations approach, Enquirer arts and entertainment writers beat the bushes for students who have demonstrated outstanding skill, ambition and accomplishment in arts-related fields.
We hear - mostly from area teachers - about a lot of students who would qualify, and it's tough to narrow the field to a few we can profile. The students profiled today (see Related Links at left) exemplify the exciting things happening at area schools.
We salute them - and all the fine area students pursuing the arts and the school programs that promote them.
Jazmine Rutherford, 18, Dance
School: Purcell Marian High School
What's next: College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, dance major
When Jazmine Rutherford was 3, she would dance around the house. Her grandmother advised her mom, "put her in dance class."
In April Rutherford received Ohio Dance's prestigious Outstanding Dance Student Award.
She loves to perform, Rutherford said, but dance also "gives me the freedom to express myself - I'm not a talker or a writer." Rutherford will be a dance major at CCM in fall, the first person in her family to attend college. Her training is rigorous as she works "to make it look easy - that's the illusion."
Her long-term goals are just as important to her. Dancers have limited stage life; Rutherford is already planning to transition to physical therapy.
"I've always wanted to help people," she explained. "I've always been interested in anatomy." She put the two together, and they added up to physical therapy. "When I have to stop dancing, I want to continue in the dance world."
Rutherford doesn't have to stop dancing any time soon. A student at the Otto Budig Cincinnati Ballet Academy since 2005, she performed with the Ballet in "Bolero + More" in 2009, and this summer she'll dance with Cincinnati Opera.
You can find her audition video on YouTube.
- Jackie Demaline