Deleted: Dance scholarships give young performing artists free money to leap into college or other professional training. Scholarships for dance come in various sizes from $500 to full tuition for BA, BFA, and even MFA students. Most dance scholarships let any type of dancer showcase their talents on live or videotaped auditions. Some scholarships are restrictive to certain art forms, such as ballet, swing, hip-hop, jazz, or lyrical. Dance education scholarships are also available for future instructors committed to teaching. Anyone passionate about dance can find scholarships to pay off course or workshop tuition. Here are 30 scholarships for dance students to realize their dancing dreams.
1. Against the Grain Productions Artistic Scholarship
Since 2010, Against the Grain Productions has developed the Artistic Scholarship Fund to give $1,000 to legal U.S. residents who have at least 25 percent Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. Funding reduces the financial burden of pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in performing arts fields, including dance and theatre. Qualified applicants must maintain a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 and engage in extracurricular community service. Asian-American dancers apply between January 1st and May 31st by sending an artistic portfolio, a transcript, and two recommendations. Recipients are chosen in August after a finalist phone interview.
2. Dance Council of North Texas Scholarships
The Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT) currently delivers over $30,000 across 31 dance scholarships to assist students between ages 13-21 who pursue summer intensives at least 100 miles away. For example, the Janice LaPointe-Crump Memorial Scholarship gives $1,000 cash to talented ballet dancers. The Margaret Rylatt Scholarship offers $1,000 for tap dancers to cover the Chicago Human Rhythm Project course tuition. The $500 Margaret Putnam Scholarship assists young dance critics who wish to attend a writing conference. Current paying DCNT members must record a dance audition video to YouTube before the February 9th deadline.
3. Dr. Earl James Fahringer Performing Arts Scholarship
The Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California bestows the $1,000 Dr. Earl James Fahringer Performing Arts Scholarship to first-time college applicants with bleeding disorders. Eligible recipients will be enrolled full-time at accredited U.S. institutions with artistic majors like dance and drama. Students must be originally from nine Southern California counties, such as Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and Riverside. Applications can be faxed or emailed until June 28th each year. Don’t forget to attach an official transcript, two reference letters, a resume, and proof of college enrollment. Six short-answer biographical essay questions are included.
4. Jean Lee/Jeff Marvin Collegiate Scholarships
The Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators (INSHAPE) awards six $1,000 Jean Lee/Jeff Marvin Collegiate Scholarships each April to support full-time, in-state undergrads. Indiana students who maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in acceptable majors, including dance and dance education, should apply. Nominated juniors and seniors might be chosen for the Catherine Wolfe Major of the Year Award. Providing evidence of 3-5 school or community service contributions is required. These scholarships for dancers are based on academic GPA, financial need, faculty recommendations, extracurricular participation, and career potential.
5. New York City Dance Alliance Scholarships
Launched in 2010, the New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) Foundation has presented more than $3 million in dance scholarships to graduating high school seniors and undergrads. Recipients receive up to $25,000 apiece for pursuing performance-based dance BA or BFA degrees. Interested dancers must attend a four-day summer workshop in Manhattan. Faculty from eight U.S. colleges, including Mercyhurst, Montclair State, and Southern Methodist, attend this workshop to recruit top talent. On January 27th, scholarship finalists from participating dance studios will audition by performing one ballet and one contemporary piece.
6. National YoungArts Foundation Dance Competition
The National YoungArts Foundation has hosted an annual competition since 1981 to select talented dancers aged 15-18 for its U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Interested teens must complete the $35 application before the October 16th deadline. Young dancers can audition in seven categories: ballet, choreography, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, tap, or world dance forms. Winners join more than 20,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars alumni and share over $500,000 in cash prizes. The Gold Award provides one college dance scholarship worth $10,000 annually. Finalists also benefit from attending master classes, dance workshops, and live performances.
7. AmeriDance Dancer of the Year Award
The AmeriCheer Family of Brands created the AmeriDance Dancer of the Year Award to provide a $1,000 college dance scholarship to an exemplary graduating high school senior. Nominees are selected at the AmeriDance and Eastern Dance Camps based on their artistic skills. Dance routine scores of 85 percent and higher qualify. Dancers must have good academic standing and be accepted at accredited, four-year universities. Before April 30th, nominees must send a resume, 250-word personal essay, headshot, and recommendation with the $50 entry fee. Recording a two-minute solo dance audition video is also mandatory.
8. Arts for Life! Dance Scholarship
Based in Tallahassee, the Florida Foundation for Excellence in Education has administered the Arts for Life! Dance Scholarship since 2008 to provide $1,000 to over 500 talented youth. Each year, Florida dancers have from September 1st to February 3rd to apply. Qualified entrants will be graduating from an in-state public, private, home, or virtual school. Dancers must record two contrasting solo performances that last up to five minutes. Audition videos are uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo with an artist release form. Writing a short, 500-word essay about the positive effects of performing arts on one’s life is also required.
9. F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship
The Waverly Community House Board of Trustees runs the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship in honor of the late U.S. diplomat and his philanthropist son. As one of the biggest scholarships for dance, the $12,000 award rewards exceptional ability in the visual and performing arts. Entrants must be U.S. citizens who currently live or presently resided in Northeast Pennsylvania. Qualifying dancers must apply between August 1st and December 15th. The Committee request six copies of the application, recommendations, and CD/DVD audition tapes plus a $35 fee. Also, check out the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley Scholarship that closes on May 15th.
10. Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Fine & Applied Arts established the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship in memory of an accomplished 19th-century alumna. Each Spring, one $20,000 scholarship goes to Illinois graduates who pursue further studies in performing arts disciplines, including dance and theatre. Priority is given to recent graduates who are 25 years old or younger. Fellows are selected based on artistic talent, academic marks, moral character, and performance achievements. Bachelor’s recipients in good educational standing must apply before December 3rd for graduate training funding in America or abroad.
11. Iowa Scholarship for the Arts Program
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs oversees the Iowa Scholarship for the Arts Program to grant $1,500 to outstanding in-state high school seniors pursuing collegiate education. Students must be accepted as full-time freshmen at Iowa universities with relevant majors, including dance and dance education. Immediate family members to Iowa Arts Council staff are ineligible. These Midwest scholarships for dancers abides a fair 21-point rubric for picking the best applicants. Undergrads must submit at least five high-quality video files of choreographed dance routines. Other points go for the 500-word autobiographical essay, resume, and reference letter.
12. Jazz Education Network Scholarships
Founded by Mary Jo Papich and Dr. Lou Fischer in 2008, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) is a Chicago-based nonprofit that offers several dance scholarships with a September 15th deadline. For instance, the David Baker Scholarship presents $3,000 and free membership to U.S. college attendees who are committed to jazz studies. To honor NEA Jazz Master Jamey Aebersold, there’s a $1,000 dance education scholarship available. The Hal Leonard Collegiate Scholarship awards $1,000 to incoming or current undergrads with jazz-related arts majors. One $1,000 Women in Jazz Scholarship is reserved for females entering the jazz industry. Entrants are considered for all awards when sending the application, bio, and three letters of support.
13. Princess Grace Dance Performance Awards
The Princess Grace Foundation was developed in 1982 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to remember the legacy of his late wife, Oscar-winning dancer Grace Kelly. Since then, Princess Grace Dance Performance Awards have gone to industry stand-outs like Gillian Murphy, Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, and David Hallberg. These competitive dance scholarships offer prestige and average grants of $15,000 to $30,000. Only nominated U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are considered. Dance majors must have at least sophomore status at nonprofit fine arts schools. Applications must arrive by May 31st with a resume, a personal statement, and 2-3 solo work samples.
14. Shelton Hall Memorial Scholarship
Performing at CenterStage since 1979, the Reston Community Players gives back with its $2,000 Shelton Hall Memorial Scholarship for dance education in America. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens who reside in Virginia’s Fairfax County and are accepted at any accredited performing arts school. Graduating high school seniors must enter dance majors full-time with a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA. Dancers must tape themselves performing a five-minute routine before the April 26th deadline. Incoming freshmen need to submit a free application, college acceptance letter, production resume, and list of dance training experiences too.
15. Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America offers the Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship to honor the late former president from 1954-56. Current members who major in dance or dance education at accredited U.S. colleges are eligible. Undergrads receive $1,250 apiece, whereas graduate students are given $1,750. Students must be at least juniors with 60+ previous college-level credits and overall GPAs above 3.5. Completed applications must arrive via the mail or electronically by October 15th. Forms filed without the registrar letter, three recommendations, official transcripts, and a biographical sketch aren’t accepted.
16. Elizabeth Furber Fellowship
The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) started the Elizabeth Furber Fellowship in 2006 to provide a $5,000 post-bachelor’s scholarship for dance education. Eligible entrants will be pursuing a Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts at an accredited U.S. graduate school. Only students of Native American and Alaskan Native descent who belong to federally recognized tribes can apply. Full-time students taking 9+ credits per term need 3.0 or greater GPAs. The annual online application deadline is June 1st. Post-grads must submit tribal eligibility certification, a personal essay, a transcript, and the Student Aid Report.
17. Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarships
Opened in 1992, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte utilizes its $32 million endowment to fund two Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarships recipients yearly. Current graduating high school seniors from the Greater Charlotte area of North and South Carolina can apply. Candidates must be enrolling full-time at U.S. undergraduate programs for art majors, including dance and dance education. Dancers with above-average artistic ability can receive renewable awards up to $10,000. Send application booklets with a one-page essay and recommendation letter by March 6th. Finalists will audition in 14-minute intervals on April 4th.
18. Brown Girls Do College Scholarship
Founded by TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian, Brown Girls Do Ballet is a Dallas-based nonprofit that’s been committed to funding young minority dancers since Spring 2013. Female dancers of color between ages 9-18 can receive a $500 ballet scholarship. The Brown Girls Do College Scholarship provides $1,000 for underrepresented U.S. residents to pursue undergraduate dance education. Preference is given to first-generation students with significant financial need. From May 1st to June 30th, ballet dancers of racial or ethnic minorities should send enrollment verification, a report card, a W-2 or tax form, and the required 500-word essay.
19. CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation has honored Curtis Mayfield since 2000 by awarding the Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship for $3,000 each year. African-American students who live in a CBC member’s district can apply until April 30th. Qualified applicants will hold 2.5 or higher GPAs during full-time studies at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions. All performing arts majors, including dance and dance education, are welcome. The general application requests a one-page resume, a recent photo, and two digital recommendations. Dancers must upload two supplemental performance samples on YouTube or Vimeo too.
20. Yvonne Brown Collodi College Scholarships
The Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) initiated the Yvonne Brown Collodi College Scholarship in 1997 to honor the 30-year Board of Directors member. Four dance scholarships are awarded at the $500, $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000 levels for $5,000 total. Current CNADM members must be enrolled full-time at U.S. universities with a dance major or minor. Applicants have until June 1st to submit an application and a five-minute audition video. Interviews are scheduled for during the Training School or National Ballet Forum. Recent winners are attending Indiana University, Viterbo University, Saint Mary’s University, and more.
21. Forest Foundation Dance Scholarship
At Columbia College Chicago, the Forest Foundation Dance Scholarship has a $1,500 annual amount to lower Dance Center education for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts. Full-time undergrads taking 12+ credits per semester must demonstrate outstanding talent and a minimum 3.0 GPA. United States and international students are considered until the February 3rd deadline. Part One of the application process is submitting a maximum two-page essay about one’s dancing experience and role models. Part Two involves uploading a video with up to four minutes or 50MB of performance, choreography, or teaching samples.
22. Cyril McNiff Memorial Scholarships
Sponsored by Northwest Designs Inc., the Irish Dancer Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) bestows $34,000 each year with multiple Cyril McNiff Memorial Scholarships. Funding goes to graduating high school seniors and current undergrads who practice Irish dancing. Solo or group step dancers can be pursuing a dance or non-arts major at any accredited U.S. college. Initial applications are processed through December 15th. Supporting materials, including an academic transcript and dance teacher recommendation, must be included. The Class of 2019 recipients train at Celtic Steps, Griffith Academy, Doherty Petri, and more.
23. Joci Performing Arts Scholarship Program
Debuted in 2009, the Las Casas Foundation’s Joci Performing Arts Scholarship Program is named for founder Jocelyn Straus who raised more than $10 million to restore Texas theatres. Each Spring, Joci Awards provide $100,000 in college dance scholarships to 25 finalists from the Greater San Antonio area. Rising stars from 46 local high schools compete in four distinct categories: acting, dance, vocal, and theatre production. Young dancers can utilize cash prizes to pursue any collegiate major at any U.S. institution. Applications are accepted from Texans in grades 9-12 with resumes, headshots, and an essay response until February 9th.
24. MFMA Academic Scholarships
The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, Inc. (MFMA) distributes five $1,000 Academic Scholarships annually to legal U.S. residents who attend accredited two- or four-year colleges. There’s a long list of qualifying undergraduate majors, including dance, dance education, exercise science, and kinesiology. Qualified applicants must achieve a cumulative “B” average or better. MFMA applications are accepted until July 10th for scholarship notification in September. Interested dancers must send a transcript, an acceptance letter, and the 500-word typed essay. Personal essays should depict how entrants will contribute to the betterment of society.
25. The Music Center Spotlight Awards
Located in Los Angeles, The Music Center has been one of America’s largest performing arts venues since 1964 with more than 1.3 million annual visitors. One popular initiative is the Spotlight Awards that give Grand Prize finalists college scholarships worth $5,000 each. Even Honorable Mentions could walk away with a $1,000 ballet scholarship. Southern California high school students from eight eligible counties can compete in seven categories, including ballet and dance. Interested SoCal residents must apply online before the October 11th cutoff. The selection process includes two preliminary auditions, a semifinal master class, and grand finale performance.
26. Nextiva Scholarship Program
Nextiva is a Scottsdale-based communications company led by CEO Tomas Gorny since 2006 that employs more than 1,000 Arizonans and runs the Nextiva Scholarship Program. Each Spring, finalists receive one-time collegiate scholarships worth $1,000 apiece. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time in a university STEAM major, such as dance or performing arts. Legal U.S. residents who exceed the 3.0 GPA minimum must apply before December 1st. Applications require writing an original, innovative 700-word essay that describes how businesses can bolster the STEAM community. Winners must confirm their college enrollment with a current transcript or tuition bill.
27. Grace Towers Scholarship for the Arts
Established in 2011, Queens of the Castro is a nonprofit San Francisco group of drag performers that financially supports young LGBTQ+ youth between ages 16-25. The Grace Towers Scholarship for the Arts specifically gives $2,000 each year to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students. California residents who are actively involved in visual or performing arts, including dance and dance education, can apply until June 30th. Every applicant must be committed to raising awareness about LGBTQ+ community issues. Funding can go towards attendance at accredited U.S. colleges or independent artistic projects.
28. ADCC Foundation Scholarships
Partnered with 40,000+ studios, the Association of Dance Competitions & Conventions (ADCC) Foundation has gifted $62,800 in dance education scholarships since 2014. Annually, around 45-75 dancers compete for $1,000 scholarships to pursue collegiate training. Graduating high school seniors must be entering an accredited, four-year U.S. institution full-time. Having competed at two or more ADCC member competitions is also mandatory. Applications are due on June 1st with a short essay, recommendation form, transcript, and professional headshot. Recent winners attend Endicott College, Texas A&M University, Purdue University, and others.
29. Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has grown the National Scholarship Program since 1946 to cover 30 funds worth $70,000 annually. The Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship is a specialized fund for Asian-American undergrads who study creative and performing arts, including dance. Only JACL members who attend accredited, four-year U.S. colleges qualify for the $5,000 award. Dancers must meet the deadline of May 1st. The application checklist includes a one-page personal statement, recommendation letter, list of community involvement, and a recorded artistic sample.
30. Marcelo Gomes Scholarship
The HARID Conservatory, an esteemed Florida ballet training school founded by Fred Lieberman in 1987, offers the $5,000 Marcelo Gomes Scholarship each Spring. This men’s dance scholarship covers the full tuition for attending the conservatory’s four-week Summer Intensive class. Gifted young men between ages 13-16 can apply from across the United States and Canada. Electronic applications must arrive by February 15th with a training summary, 200-word personal statement, and YouTube video clip. Finalists are invited to Boca Raton for a stringent audition that tests barre work like battement tendu, adagio, plié, and arabesque.
Don’t let the negative misconceptions stop you from pursuing a dance major. Dance careers can be cutthroat competitive and difficult to achieve. However, there are opportunities for talented, dedicated dancers to succeed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of dancers will increase one percent from 2018 to 2028 for 14,000 total U.S. jobs. Dancing for professional dance companies isn’t the only gig available either. Dance majors can excel as choreographers, producers, art directors, teachers, stage managers, arts administrators, costume or set designers, talent agents, and more. Demand for dance therapists is growing quickly by seven percent.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of every scholarship for dance education. Many other women’s and men’s dance scholarship opportunities are searchable online. For instance, dancers could apply for the Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship, Jean Warner Labelle Scholarship, Evelyn H. Green Scholarship, Brianna Richmond Cowles Scholarship, Helen P. Alkire Scholarship, Glorya Kaufman Dance Scholarship, Susan S. Collier Scholarship, Gail Pokoik Scholarship, and Caroline Gordon Scholarship. Remember to file the free FAFSA application to receive federal student aid too. Scholarships for dancers can stack atop college aid and government assistance like the Pell Grant. Show off your innate sense of rhythm by applying and auditioning for dance scholarships that lower tuition costs.
Interested in other types of scholarships? Check out our full list here.
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