open auditions for new 
full-time elite training program in orlando

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Marshall ellis dance school hosting open auditions for new
full-time elite training program in orlando

Marshall Ellis Dance School is holding auditions on Aug. 4 for its new Elite Training Program, a rigorous full-time opportunity for students ages 8-18 who aspire to a career in dance.

The Elite Training Program will launch in September 2017 and run through June 2018. It will admit just 15 students in its first year and will provide an intensive, personalized and positive ballet training experience for its dancers. It fills a clear need in the region by providing expert pre-professional training in the arts- and enterainment-oriented Central Florida community.

The weekly daytime schedule includes 22 hours of dance, more than other similar programs in the area. Elite Training Program students also have access to unlimited evening and weekend drop-in classes, workshop series performances, and local and regional dance festivals.

There’s no fee to audition, and dancers should bring a headshot plus photos of a first arabesque and tendu a la second. Those en pointe should bring pointe shoes. The audition will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 at ME Dance School, 1300 La Quinta Drive, Orlando, Fla. 32809.

ME Dance is partnering with Florida Virtual School and has designed its training schedule to support students’ academic success.

The Elite Training Program is guided by school founder and owner Marshall Ellis. Ellis has trained, traveled and danced around the world, performing soloist and principal roles in Europe, Asia and the United States. He joined Orlando Ballet under the direction of Fernando Bujones, and he performed in a range of roles from corps de ballet to principal dancer. He became a principal equity performer at Walt Disney World Resort and performed the principal ballet role in the Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba.

The Elite Training Program will be under the leadership of Program Director Rachael Riley, previously a soloist with Omaha Theater Ballet and member of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company, where she danced featured and principal roles. During her time with Grand Rapids Ballet, Riley appeared in the U.S. and internationally as a principal guest artist and served as resident choreographer.

Ellis founded ME Dance Company in 2012 and opened ME Dance School two years later. The Elite Training Program is his next step in providing dancers with opportunity to cultivate their talent and artistry to the fullest potential.

For more information about ME Dance School and the Elite Training program, prospective students should visit or email

AMOUR – featuring Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, and Deborah Myers

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Amour featuring International Stars Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, and Deborah Myers with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Presented by The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and the Dr. Phillips Center

Public On-Sale: 10 a.m., Friday, June 10, 2016
Dr. Phillips Center Members get Pre-Sale Access.

Show date: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Show time: 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $35.00
Walt Disney Theater

Three of Europe’s biggest stars come together with the Orlando Philharmonic for one night only. Discovered by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, he is best known for his powerful and charismatic performances. Joining Frangoulis onstage are two international stars. George Perris has performed for sold out audiences around the world and is considered Europe’s next superstar. Soprano Deborah Myers, one of the UK’s most versatile performers, has starred in a variety of musical productions including The King and I, The Pirates of Penzance, and Something Wonderful.

Founded in 1947, Horatio Alger Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals and administers one of the nation’s largest privately-funded, need-based scholarship programs. Through the generosity of its Members, the Association awards more than $12 million annually to deserving students who have overcome adversity as they pursue their dreams through higher education. In partnership with Members Harvey Massey, Clarence Otis and James Seneff, the Association is proud to present Amour – From Broadway to Puccini.

Six Republican candidates vow to pass anti-gay bill if elected

By : Jamie Hyman
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See the photo above? Those are the six Republican presidential hopefuls officially on record with their commitment to discriminating against gay people.

Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson , Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee have all promised, if elected, to pass the “First Amendment Defense Act,” during their first 100 days in office.

That is very bad.

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Chris Rudisill stepping down at METRO Tampa Bay

By : Staff Report
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METRO Tampa Bay announced Nov. 23 that after more than three years with the organization, Chris Rudisill will be stepping down as the Director of LGBT Community Center Services, according to a press release.

Rudisill is credited as being an essential part of expanding METRO’s list of programs, as well as establishing the LGBT Welcome Center.

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Family resources gives LGBT teens a safe place to be

By : Krista DiTucci
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Since 2013, Family Resources, Inc. has provided a safe haven for LGBT runaway and homeless youth through the “SafePlace2BToo: LGBT” transitional living program.

“SafePlace2BToo: LGBT” houses six beds in Pinellas Park, but teens from all counties are welcome. According to Dr. Lisa Davis, chief executive officer of Family Resources, the ultimate goal is to help LGBT youth learn the necessary skills to become self-sufficient in early adulthood.

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OYA celebrates 25 years of helping young adults in Central Florida

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – The Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), notable for supporting the young LGBT community, is celebrating 25 years this month.

Michael Slaymaker became president of OYA in 2007 and has built on a legacy started 25 years ago.

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Rock AIDS Returns for World AIDS Day 2012

By : Steve Blanchard
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The powers behind Metro Wellness and Community Centers will bring back a dormant event to celebrate World AIDS Day this year. On Dec. 1, Rock AIDS will return with a new location and a new attitude behind it.

“We’re putting a different spin on it,” said Kathie Michael, fundraising and events specialist with Metro. “The last one was an evening concert at Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg in 2006. It was an evening concert.”

This year, Rock AIDS will be resurrected at the Lowry Park bandshell, just outside of the Zoo, on Dec. 1 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The celebration will feature four bands and remind the public that HIV/AIDS is still a very real and very dangerous disease.

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