Brittany Lynn Semmel daughter of Mike and Kim Semmel of Lehighton has decided to further her academic and performing arts career at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia .

"This is an amazing opportunity to study at one of the top performing arts schools in the nation," said Brittany, who has been dancing since she was 2 years old at Dance with Kim School of Performing Arts LLC. She will now have a chance to take her talents to the next level.

"I'm so thankful to have been able to follow my passion for dance at my mom's dance studio," said Brittany. "It is bittersweet to think of leaving. I will miss my studio routine, but I am also excited to move on to new dance challenges at the University of the Arts. I want to thank all my teachers over the years. They have taught me so much more than dance and I want them to know I truly value all of it."

The audition process at University of the Arts included a 90-minute class in ballet, modern and jazz, and a self-choreographed solo had to be presented.

Brittany was awarded a four-year artist grant. She said she loved the teachers the university and Philadelphia.

The School of Dance at the University of the Arts is the largest undergraduate dance program in the United States, with a population of approximately 300 creative and talented students, taught by award-winning faculty and visiting artists.

Under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield, the school has developed an innovative new curriculum that prepares students for the 21st century world of professional dance, offering the depth and rigor of a discipline-based dance conservatory while engaging students in open discussions within their own practice, valuing their voices as capable of developing new and critical perspectives in dance.

The School of Dance believes in moving students closer to the professional world of dance. Apprenticeships and internships in the Research Series years are encouraged and supported within Philadelphia, across the U.S. and abroad

Performance and choreography are at the heart of the dance program, with ensemble productions, student composition concerts and student-staged senior dance concerts throughout the year in venues like the historic 1,800-seat Merriam Theater.

Dancers train in 14 fully equipped studios and the vibrant Philadelphia dance scene provides extensive opportunities for students to work with top-level companies. Guest choreographers and visiting artists from across the globe are on campus each year to set both new and historical repertory works.

UArts students have performed on Fox TVs "So You Think You Can Dance" as well as CBS TVs "Live To Dance." Three were the first Americans ever accepted into the Arsenale della Danza at the Venice Biennale, and several danced in an original production performed in a refurbished train station in Santiago, Chile, as part of an international cultural exchange.