New Orleans – Musician Amanda Shaw gave a ballet student a huge surprise Thursday afternoon at the New Orleans Academy of Creative Arts.
NOCCA Sophomore Elizabeth Zaffuto studies ballet, and wrote an essay to Shaw, in hopes of receiving the first scholarship from Shaw’s new foundation, Orchestrate Dreams.
“She started so young, to keep going with it, it takes a lot of passion. That’s the thing about art, it’s really the love of it, that carries you through,” Shaw says.
Elizabeth received a scholarship for an intensive summer program in Pennsylvania.
She was greeted warmly into her classroom by Shaw, as her teachers and fellow students watched. Shaw wrote her a card, and had flowers in hand to greet Zaffuto.
“For me being someone who has been working in the industry for 20 years, seeing young people working. It makes me want to work harder, and try and create a good environment for young artists, to keep working and to keep making great art. So, thank you so much for being you,” Shaw told Zaffuto.
What makes this award so special for both, is not only is Zaffuto the first recipient, but she also battled scoliosis as a child.
She had spinal fusion surgery to correct it, and does ballet with a rod in her back.
“My doctor told me that it would be a challenge to dance again, but he told me that I reallty surprised him. That I really overcame all my obstacles,” says Zaffuto.”
To donate to Amanda’s foundation, go to her website amandashaw.com