Mary Ann Peterson Scholarship
Mary Ann Lupton Peterson was a dedicated mother, wife, teacher, costumer, and friend. Born on November 4, 1951, in Tucker, Georgia to Joseph and Mary Lupton, she began her life in the arts very early. Her mother was in the symphony and her father sang in the church choir, so she was surrounded by the arts. Most of her childhood was spent wandering around the concert hall, listening to the classical music emanating from the concert hall. It was not long before she got into the arts themselves, dancing with a small company in Atlanta. She danced all the way through high school and went on to dance with Atlanta Ballet while obtaining a degree in History from Georgia Tech University. After college, she went on tour with Atlanta Ballet, across the country and even going to Paris, France. When she retired from dancing professionally, she settled down with her husband in a small town in Mississippi where she had her first child and began to entertain the idea of teaching dance.
Mary Ann had learned early on that if she was going to stay with the dance world she would need to learn more than just how to dance, so she learned how to sew. When the family moved from Mississippi to Huntsville, Alabama, she began teaching and costuming. That was in 1986. From then on Mary Ann never looked back, bringing her two daughters into the dancing fold when old enough. She taught at five studios in Huntsville in the 32 years spent teaching, and at each studio, she brought her vast knowledge in not only ballet but in people making many friends along the way.
Mary Ann also grew to be head costume mistress at two different studios, creating beautiful and well-crafted costumes for many children, teens, and adults. She taught the craft to many others and helped many mothers achieve what they did not think they were able to before. Mary Ann taught sewing just like she taught ballet, with patience and a steady, firm hand, not taking no for an answer and there was no such thing as “can’t”. Everyone Mary Ann Peterson came into contact with knew not only how much she loved teaching and sewing, but how much she loved her students and volunteers. She was a wonderful person with great talent and attitude, and her craft will be continued by those she taught.
Mary Ann Peterson was dedicated to the advancement of dancers of all shapes and sizes, and encouraged her students to participate in as many dance opportunities as possible. The AYBT Bravo! Team would like to continue this encouragement by offering scholarships for AYB dancers to attend summer intensives and dance camps. The Mary Ann Peterson Summer Dance Scholarship program helps keep Mary Ann's spirit alive within the studio.
The scholarship fund is supported by Team Bravo! fundraising programs, such as Fall and Spring Rummage Sales, the Nutcracker and Spring Ballet Boutiques, raffles and Bravo Spirit events.
Scholarship funds help support the Summer Dance Connection program in addition to aiding in tuition expenses for summer dance programs for AYB students.