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This summer, Conservatory Dancer Ambar Matos competed in the 42nd Annual NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientic Olympics (ACT-SO). ACT-SO is a program designed to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high schools students and includes 32 competitions encompassing the arts, humanities and STEM. Through ACT-SO, the NAACP works to prepare, recognize and reward youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence.

Ambar received the Gold medal in Dance: Modern and the Bronze medal in Dance: Contemporary for her self-choreographed pieces. We are so proud that Ambar has joined the ranks of CityDance students who have won these awards in the past, including Lihua Hunter in 2018. Congratulations!

Read more about Ambar’s experience in her own words:

I am truly grateful for all of my teachers, instructors, friends, and family. Without you, I would not be where I am today. Special thanks to PGCPS Maryland Branch of the NAACP, National ACT-SO, CityDance Conservatory, my mom and dance peers. You have all supported me in my development as a dancer and individual. This was my third year attending and taking part (in ACT-SO), and every year I have grown as an artist. To me, it is not only a competition, but an event filled with talented and incredible thinkers, artists, creators and youth.

For the pieces I competed this year, I self choreographed them to resemble my emotions and the mayhem that has transpired. We have all grown and experienced new things during these hard times, and I wanted to use dance as my outlet and a way to resonate with those around me. I am truly honored and appreciative for the opportunity to do so amidst all of the chaos. Special congratulations to everyone who participated this year – I had a blast interacting with you all, even if online. Until next year!