Brianna Isabella Castro

Student Award for Artistic Excellence and Leadership in Dance

Isabella Castro was born and raised in Dover, New Jersey. Growing up in Hispanic household, music and dance was always a part of her life. Her first official dance class was at the age of 12 when taking salsa calena from Oscar Calderon. Soon after she joined his team, she trained with him for 3 years, competed, and began choreographing. She fell in love with movement and knew she wanted to pursue a career in dance. With a constant hunger to learn more, Isabella applied to Morris County School of Technology to be a dance major. Once accepted, she began training in ballet, modern, jazz, improvisation, and choreography. Here she also focused on dance history, nutrition, anatomy, dance film as well as engaging in additional performance opportunities. During her high school career, she began working with 2 professional Latin dance companies based in NYC, which has afforded her many opportunities to grow as a dance artist.

Brianna Isabella Castro - Dance Shot -

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.