CNN features LINES Ballet BFA in Dance alumna Lani Dickinson ‘16

A story airing on CNN features the powerful story of Dominican alumna Lani Dickinson ’16, who in 2015 became the third Dominican student to receive a prestigious award for dance from the Princess Grace Foundation.

The CNN story documents Lani, who was born without a left arm. She was only a few days old when she was abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage in China. At 13 months, Lani was adopted and brought to the United States. Lani’s dance training began at the age eight when she developed scoliosis. Her doctor suggested that she take up ballet to combat her warped spine.

Thanks to determination and talent, Lani excelled in ballet. Indeed, dance helped Lani overcome adversity and numerous surgeries, and led her to new heights in the field through the Alonzo King LINES Ballet/Dominican BFA in Dance.

Her story also has been featured by NBC Bay Area and ABC News KGO TV in San Francisco.

It was while attending Idyllwild Performing Arts School in California as a high school junior that Lani was first approached by Marina Hotchkiss, Director of the LINES Ballet BFA in Dance program. Lani was drawn to Dominican by potential dance workshop opportunities in San Francisco and by the beauty, intimacy and close-knit feel the Dominican campus offered.

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In 2015, Lani was awarded the Princess Grace Foundation award. She followed Jeffrey Van Sciverr '13, now a member of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Katie Scherman '10, who graduated from the University of Oregon with her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance in 2015.

“The Princess Grace Foundation scholarship is really the most prestigious dance scholarship in the country,” said Hotchkiss at the time of Lani’s award. “They are expressly looking for young artists who will have an impact on the future of the art form. As a differently-abled dancer, Lani pushes choreographers to think differently and audiences to see differently.”

Lani learned about winning the Princess Grace Award while traveling with her mother, Julie Bell, to China. The $25,000 scholarship money helped Lani to produce a formal audition video to apply for dance jobs and to participate in a winter workshop at the Conservatory of Dance in San Francisco.

Only months after graduating from Dominican’s BFA in Dance program, Lani was accepted into AXIS Dance Company in Oakland as a full-time performer. In February, Lani returned to Dominican to celebrate the 10th year of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA in Dance. She and Alivia Schaffer ’13 performed on the Angelico Hall stage with fellow members of AXIS. They performed two excerpts from their repertory, alongside side five works by the BFA in Dance Class of 2017. #ThisIsDUC


April 4, 2017