Charlotte student and teacher win National High School Musical honors

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A huge win for a local student at The National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, in New York City.

Anna Hertel, a rising senior at Ardrey Kell High School in Ballantyne, won The Best Dancer Award Monday night at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.

The Jimmy Awards come after Hertel, and Justin Rivers, who is a recent graduate of Central Academy of Technology and Arts, took home top honors at The Blumey Awards last month in Charlotte.

As winners of the Best Actress and Best Actor Blumey awards, the pair was invited to participate in The Jimmy Awards in New York City.

Last night's awards presentation comes after eight days of rehearsals and coaching for 74 students who travel to the Big Apple from all over America. The culmination is a performance which includes all students and solos by select finalists.

Our local honors, The Blumey Awards, were created by Blumenthal Performing Arts six years ago to celebrate the talents of high school theater students from across the Charlotte region.

"We are immensely proud of Anna and Justin and their incredible performances last night," said Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard. "It's an honor to have had such talented young people represent the Charlotte area on the national level. We are humbled by the success stories that have come out of this experience but it simply speaks to the quality of the high school musical theater programs and the teachers leading these efforts in our region. We're honored to do our part in supporting that."

Also recognized Monday night at The Jimmy Awards was Central Academy of Technology and Arts theater teacher Larry Robinson who received an Inspiring Educator Award Presented by Wells Fargo. The award is given to teachers who work closely with previous winners of a Jimmy Award for Best Actor or Actress.

Robinson worked closely with Amina Faye, a musical theater student now at Penn State. She was the first Charlotte-area students to win the top honor.

Since the inception of the National High School Musical Awards, students have been awarded over a million dollars in scholarships.

Several students have gone on to realize their Broadway dreams, including Eva Noblezada and Abby Corrigan.

Noblezada was recently nominated for Broadway's biggest award, The Tony, for her performance in the revival of "Miss Saigon."

Abby Corrigan is currently touring with "Fun Home." Performances are being held this week in Corrigan's hometown of Charlotte at Knight Theater in uptown.

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