It’s officially grad season and this student went out with a bang. High school scholar Xavier Logan announced on Wednesday (April 28) that he received over $1.3 million in college scholarships nationwide.
As a 2021 graduate from North Spring Charter High School of Arts and Sciences with over 17 choreography submissions and nearly 200, 8 count videos, Logan won the hearts of schools like Pace University and AMDA.
After years of finding himself, the Atlanta native spoke with us about his journey to success and which university he chose to better his dance career.
First and foremost, congratulations to 1.3 million in scholarships, how do you feel right now?
It is a lot to take in, and I’m very excited. It was actually one of my goals because I have a cousin and he got $1 million his senior year, so I just wanted to beat him and I ended up getting 1.3 million so that was great.
I can’t imagine how many college applications you filled out, do you remember which College offered you the most?
It was Pace university. They offered me the most, $300,000.
Wow, that’s amazing! You reached out to us & said that people who look like you don’t get enough acknowledgment for things like this, why do you think that is?
I think it’s because a lot of people don’t see how hard dancing is especially being a black boy in the dance world. Some people's journey was fine but for me it was different. I had to do sports before I could even explore the world of dance. I would just dance around the house and my parents finally enrolled me into a dance summer camp. I realized dance is something I loved but my family and friends, some of them were like 'OK, no, I can’t support this' or 'this is not something that I see growing or you doing anything with it'. Then there was an automatic thought, he’s a dancer, so he’s gay. I was so young and I didn’t even know what that meant.
You were just doing something you loved, but now that you’ve embraced being gay, how did your family react?
When I came out as gay that opened up a whole new can of worms. My immediate family started having problems. My brother would even get bullied at school because they found videos of me dancing on YouTube and that’s just family. That doesn’t count hours of competition & pressure of actually dancing. For a long time I would be the only male, then the only black person. Dealing with that on your own and trying to figure out your sexuality, your passion, then figuring out if your passion is worth it when the people you love so much can’t even support you. I wish people could understand that this is not easy.
With so much going on, when did you finally accept that you are black, gay and that you are a dancer?
My freshman year of high school. I was like 'OK, this is what it is'. It was a lot of stress and a lot of pressure and it took my family a good minute. Some actually still don’t know, but if you look back on my videos, if you look at the evidence, it’s like I don’t know how you didn’t see it. When I did come out, it wasn’t my decision. My mom had access to my social media accounts because she would make sure people weren’t looking at me in the wrong way. I was talking to people on my social media and I would delete the messages but one day I forgot and she was like oh my gosh Xavier what's this?
And now that the cats out of the bag, I saw that you got accepted to over 13 different dance universities. Have you made a final decision?
Yes, the school I am going to is Juilliard (offering $200,000). The program I’m taking there is just dancing. They do have the opportunity to minor in other subjects but I’m going in just to focus on dance because over the past years I feel like I haven’t been able to focus on dance as much as I wanted to, so now I’m relieved.
Wow, so you’re moving from Atlanta to New York. What will be the most difficult thing to leave behind ?
I definitely won’t be homesick, I love Atlanta but I am ready to go. I have been here all my life, I’m ready to explore. But the most difficult I would say, would probably be just accepting that I’m actually here and it’s actually happening. I’ll be in this class with all of these amazing dancers that I’ve looked up to. I’m so use to trying to surround myself with people that are like me and now it’s going to be so many differences going on and it’s gonna take me a while to understand and actually find someone to confide in and grow with.
Coming from high school, what are you expecting the college life to be like?
I am expecting it to be challenging. I know with the school I’m going to it’s a lot of top-tier talent and I’m glad to be one of them. I’ll have to be open, free and understanding that I’m on this new level. I also have to remember where I came from. I’m just excited to see how I’m going to grow over the years of actually being independent.
I know you haven’t started yet, but what’s your goal as a dancer leaving Juilliard 4 years from now?
It’s not really a goal but a motive. 'Like you’re here Xavier but Juilliard can’t be the peak of your career, you have to be more because Juilliard is just the foundation and you’re just scratching the surface'. But immediately graduating Juilliard, I would want to be in a dance company, either contemporary or contemporary ballet in Europe. Also, I would love to choreograph in studios & be a judge at dance competitions.
Do you have any advice for upcoming college students in the gaye* community?
My advice would be to remember your younger self. There are always moments where I’ve made a certain accomplishment and I lost sight of the younger me that was hard-working and stressed out. Continue to be that free-spirited, happy-go-lucky person who looks at the world like it’s a beautiful place and not allow other people to feel your mind.
That’s great advice Xavier. Thank you so much for speaking with us and congratulations again. Keep us updated on your dance journey.
Thank you all so much and I’ll definitely send over videos Ha!