Zoë Hodges ’27 Receives Esteemed Louis Johnson Scholarship for Ballet Studies 

Zoë Hodges ’27, a student at the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance (SCCDance), has been awarded the prestigious Louis Johnson Scholarship from CORPS de Ballet International this year.

Zoë Hodges

Zoë Hodges ’27

As part of her scholarship award, Hodges will attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) summer intensive in New York City.  

Artistic Growth Through Scholarships 

Hodges previously attended the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s summer workshop with a scholarship from Nycole Ray, SCCDance guest choreographer in Spring 2024. This opportunity allowed Hodges to broaden her artistic horizons and enhance her versatility as a dancer. In addition to ballet, she immersed herself in dance styles such as Horton, Graham and West African dance. 

“This experience will prepare me for the Dance Theatre of Harlem summer intensive,” Hodges said. “Where I will continue to take similar classes and have the chance to network with professionals in New York City.” 

As she prepares for her summer intensive in New York City, Hodges eagerly anticipates connecting with fellow dancers and industry professionals, while immersing herself in the vibrant culture of the city. 

“I aim to return to campus with improved technique and an inspiring performance quality.”  

Louis Johnson Scholarship 

Zoe Hodges dancing

Hodges hopes to broaden her artistic horizons and enhance her versatility as a dancer.

Established in memory of Louis Johnson, a celebrated dancer, choreographer, and educator, this scholarship is dedicated to supporting African American and Black dancers pursuing ballet studies in university or dance conservatory settings. Recipients may use the scholarship for tuition within a university or college dance program or for a ballet-focused summer workshop of their choosing.

Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, DTH is a globally renowned ballet company. Mitchell was an internationally acclaimed artist and the first African American principal dancer to join the New York City Ballet in 1955. Mitchell established DTH to challenge the industry’s exclusive practices and pioneered multifaceted programs to educate and celebrate the belief that dance belongs to everyone. 

 “I’m so appreciative of this award,” said Hodges. “Attending training opportunities outside my hometown often comes with financial struggles. This scholarship means the world to me, as DTH is my top company of interest post-graduation.”   

Q&A with Hodges  

What made you want to pursue your area of study?
I’ve been dancing since I was three! I’ve always known that I wanted to become a professional dancer. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been excited by the challenges that dance gave me, and even more excited to see how I grow as a dancer. SCCDance gave me exactly what I needed. There are so many opportunities to interact with professionals and build meaningful connections while working on my personal goals as an artist.  

Are there any SCCDance faculty mentors who have inspired your dance education?
I am so grateful for all of the SCCDance faculty members. I want to give special thanks to Jessica Zeller, Sarah Newton, Laura Barbee, Elizabeth Gillaspy, and Keith and Kellye Saunders. Thank you for being such caring educators who are willing to help me achieve my goals.