DALLAS – For most students, such opportunity never even exists.
"I'm about to cry. It's still so surreal I'm going,” said Ricardo Hartley, 18, a senior at Dallas ISD's Booker T. Washington High School.
But for five young men who study at one of the school district’s crown jewels, the dream of dancing professionally might now become a reality.
"I was freaking out obviously because I had been waiting forever, hoping it would come," added Zane Unger, 17.
The Juilliard School in New York City accepts only 12 young men from around the world into its dance program each year. In August, five of those 12 will come from Booker T. Washington.
"We've had five school-wide but this is the first from one department," said Kate Walker, Booker T. Washington's dance cluster coordinator.
"I almost feel like dance gives me a higher purpose. I feel really fulfilled,” explained Todd Baker, 18.
Hartley remembers his phone call from Juilliard.
"I screamed. Dropped my phone. Did all that. Got emotional. Called my mom. She had a panic attack," he added.
"I don't think there's ever been a time in my life since I started where I couldn't imagine myself dancing," said Michael Garcia, 18. "I don't think there's ever been a time in my life since I started where I couldn't imagine myself dancing. People are always like 'Oh, you're a dancer. What happens if you get injured?' I'm like, 'Well, I'll teach dance. Or I'll go to every show that I can.'"
Friday marks 40 years for Booker T. Washington as a magnet school for the arts.