High Honors for Dance Grads, Lydia and Laniya

Posted on July 09, 2024

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Meet Lydia Pate and Laniya Smith, recipients of the 2024 Provost Student Excellence Awards for the School of Dance, represent the highest academic honor for undergraduate students at UNCG, bestowed by the Provost and the Honors Council of Lloyd International Honors College.

Their recognition exemplifies outstanding dedication and contributions to the School of Dance community, celebrating not only their exceptional talent in dance but also their remarkable leadership qualities and commitment to fostering a vibrant and supportive environment for their peers.

Lydia’s journey with the School of Dance began in the spring of 2018 when she joined as a high school student enrolled in college courses. Since then, she has consistently demonstrated a remarkable blend of artistry and academic prowess. As noted by a faculty member, “Lydia has been an exemplary presence within the school, embodying the qualities of an outstanding student and artist from the outset.” One of Lydia’s standout achievements is her role as the president and founder of the newly established ballet club, a testament to her initiative and passion for her craft. Additionally, she has actively contributed to the School of Dance community as a friend to all and as a dedicated student. Lydia’s multifaceted involvement and unwavering dedication make her a truly deserving recipient of the Provost’s Student Excellence Award.

Laniya’s impact on the School of Dance community is profound and far-reaching. Beyond her exceptional skills as a dancer, Laniya has distinguished herself through her efforts to cultivate meaningful connections among students. Another Faculty Member highlights Laniya’s “initiative in creating the Student Spotlight series for the School of Dance Instagram, utilizing her talents in film and media to amplify the stories of her peers.” Moreover, Laniya’s leadership extends to her role as President of Prime Movers, where she has spearheaded initiatives to provide fellow students with opportunities to showcase their choreography to wider audiences. Through her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to her peers, Laniya has emerged as an extraordinary example of achievement and dedication within the School of Dance community.

The recognition of Lydia and Laniya with the Provost’s Student Excellence Award serves as a testament to their exceptional contributions, inspiring and elevating those around them while leaving an indelible mark on the School of Dance and beyond. As they continue their artistic and academic endeavors, Lydia and Laniya stand as shining examples of the transformative power of dedication and passion in the pursuit of excellence.

Story by Savannah Jenkins

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