Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. announced the winners of The Marjorie B. Fink Merit Scholarships.

Each dancer will receive a half-tuition scholarship to study ballet and other dance forms in the Guild's Pre-Professional Division for the 2010-2011 school year and the 2010 Summer Dance Program.

Recipients are Abigail Bleicher Healey, Jim Thorpe; Jillian Sinko, Bethlehem; Esther Martinez, Bethlehem; and Hayden Sorrentino, Allentown.

The winners were chosen from auditions at the Ballet Guild studios on April 11, conducted by Suzanne Farrell Ballet Soloist, Elisabeth Holowchuk.

A panel of distinguished dance educators consisting of Lisa Becker-Padula, owner/director of Northeast Theatre-Dance Academy, Dunmore, PA; Richard Fritz, formerly of the Los Angeles Ballet, CA; and Margo Ging, dance professor, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA, judged the applicants.

These merit scholarships are worth a combined total of more than $4,000 and will give the awardees the opportunity to study ballet and other dance forms in a pre-professional program designed to emphasize the proper development of ballet skills, focusing on knowledge, placement, and alignment, as well as building stamina, strength, flexibility, and musicality.

The Ballet Guild, a non-profit organization, is the parent organization of Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

The Guild operates its school at 556 Main St. in Bethlehem, and offers classes September through May for ages 3 through adult, and a 6-week summer intensive program, including a wide variety of community classes for children and adults.