Metro Detroit teen dancer accepted to The Juilliard School

A Metro Detroit teen overcomes obstacles to achieve his dream of being accepted into The Juilliard School.

"At first didn’t even know I wanted to go to college, I’m like I'm just going to LA and live my life," said Arthur Gee.

But Arthur, or LA which stands for Little Arthur as he is affectionately called by family and friends, would soon have an awakening.

"Joining this studio, Angie Hanh’s Academy of Dance, I started off with hip-hop but Ms. Angie was like you need to take a ballet class," he said. "I was like, I don’t know - I don’t think boys do ballet."

Arthur would soon discover that ballet was indeed his calling.

But as he began to explore ballet he was diagnosed with scoliosis during Covid. The condition means that he has a sideways curvature of the spine that causes pain.

"My back started to hurt really bad, like to the point I couldn’t even dance sometimes," he said.

But Arthur continued to push and dance his way through it.

Arthur Gee

"It was like finding a way to persevere through that pain," Arthur said.

The commitment to his craft allowed Arthur to stand out among other dancers.

"I’m just so proud of everything he accomplishes," said his mother, Jahmira Taylor. 

Arthur started teaching at his dance school and the high school student - who at first was going to forego college - decided to apply to The Juilliard School, a prestigious performing arts school in New York.

When this 18-year-old received a phone call that he had been accepted, he knew the hard work was paying off.

"That’s all I could say was wow thank you so much for this opportunity," he said.

But this opportunity comes with a price.

"I was able to win a $52,000 scholarship but that’s just for tuition and housing is still a lot more than that," Arthur said.

Arthur set up a GoFundMe account hoping the community works to uplift him so he can accomplish his next move.

"I’m studying to get my bachelor of fine arts degree to become a professorial dancer, hopefully join a company, and then eventually become a choreographer," he said.

If you would like to contribute to Arthur’s GoFundMe, CLICK HERE.

"There’s really no point of stopping when there’s so much further to go," he said.

Arthur Gee