A Runnels Elementary School sixth-grader is headed to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York to study ballet, jazz, tap and pointe this summer.

Caroline Collins has been awarded a full scholarship to study dance at the ballet school.

The scholarship covers an intensive two-week program at the school’s Manhattan studio. The scholarship, explained Caroline’s mother, Susan Collins, came as a complete surprise. “Caroline went to a dance workshop and walked out with a scholarship,” Susan Collins said.

The workshop, held on Oct. 11, at the Phyllis Guy Dance Center in Denham Springs, where Caroline has been a student for nine years, was conducted by Scott Fox, a master dancer, instructor and choreographer at the New York school.

“After the workshop,” Susan Collins said, “the instructor said he was awarding one of the dancers a scholarship to study at Joffrey, and he pointed at Caroline. She started to scream and my head started to spin.”

Caroline went to New Orleans for a second audition with another Joffrey Ballet School instructor in January. The outcome was the offer of a full summer scholarship to study at any of the summer intensive programs offered around the country by the Joffrey Ballet School. Caroline chose the one in New York.

In addition to private lessons, Caroline takes ballet as an elective at Runnels as part of her daily schedule. Her Runnels instructor, Mary Camille Maddox, who is also a ballet teacher and choreographer at the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Dance Workshop, said, “We congratulate Caroline on her accomplishment and for being selected to receive this honor.”

Caroline, the daughter of Susan and Lawrence Collins, called winning the scholarship a dream come true and said she hopes to follow that dream to Broadway as a professional choreographer or dancer.