From Alabama School of Fine Arts to The Julliard School—one Helena dancer’s amazing story

alabama school of fine arts
Ellie completing a grand jeté in dance practice. (Wes Chapman / ASFA)

According to WVTM 13, Ellie Crawford is one of only 24 students to be accepted into Julliard’s dance program. She is representing the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA), her hometown of Helena and the state of Alabama well. Read on to learn more about this ASFA dancer’s journey. 

Ellie Crawford’s Journey

Ellie Crawford 2 From Alabama School of Fine Arts to The Julliard School—one Helena dancer's amazing story
Ellie Crawford dancing on historic Morris Ave. (Alabama School of Fine Arts)

Ellie Crawford, a dancer at Alabama School of Fine Arts, was able to secure an audition with Julliard after years of practice and hard work. The audition was successful as she is now a part of the program.

“I worked with Ellie for six years at ASFA Dance and found her talent, determination and integrity as a person put her into a position to be her most successful.”

Wes Chapman, ASFA Dance Chair

About Alabama School of Fine Arts

Wes Chapman
Wes Chapman is chair of ASFA’s renowned dance department. Also, he’s very funny. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Alabama School of Fine Arts is the state’s only tuition-free arts and sciences institution. They specialize in the areas of creative writing, dance, math-science, music, theatre arts, and visual arts for students in grades 7-12. 

Some students board at the school as it is a college preparatory institution. 

Some notable ASFA alumni include: 

Persevering through online learning

When COVID caused her classes to go online,  Crawford had to stay disciplined to perfect her talent of dance and remain diligent in her studies. She has maintained her 4.0 GPA while pursuing her dream of attending college for dance. 

“I tell all of the ASFA Dance students ‘you get out of dancing what you put into it’ Ellie put everything she had into her training at ASFA Dance and her reward was being accepted to Julliard in New York City.” 

Wes Chapman, ASFA Dance Chair

From Helena, AL to New York City  

ASFA dancer

According to her interview with WVTM 13, Ellie has had to overcome virtual dance classes and practices, physical and mental exhaustion to reach her goal. She will soon be headed to the Big Apple to finally take part in her dream that has become a reality. 

“Ellie makes the 4th ASFA Dance to attend Juilliard in the past 3 years, we are so proud of her.”

Wes Chapman, ASFA Dance Chair

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Camille Womack
Camille Womack
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