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Dance Scholarships

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Passionate about dance and want to make a career of it? Not sure how to pay for college? Dance is a competitive field in which students must truly have talent, dedication and the desire to work hard. There are a number of different types of dance, including jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and more. No matter the dance style, financial aid is available to dance students wanting to further their education.

Although dance scholarships may seem scarce, many colleges and universities with dance, or performing arts departments offer students awards specific to their major area of study. In addition to departmental scholarships, dance students should speak to the campus financial aid office for general financial aid opportunities, as well as seek outside scholarships from corporate sponsors, and foundations.

Who Offers Free Money for Dance Students

Scholarships are beneficial to a dance student’s financial aid package because they are ‘free money’ opportunities that don’t have to be repaid. Most colleges and universities offer general scholarships based on merit and/or financial need through the school’s financial aid office. Besides general scholarships, dance students can speak to departmental staff to find what scholarships are available.

Here are examples of some college dance scholarships:

Virginia’s George Mason University’s dance department offers scholarships to students interested in teaching dance, choreography, and modern dance. The Bette Carter Award is a $1,000 scholarship awarded to full-time students who demonstrate a financial need. The Dance Talent Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen with outstanding dance talent. Applicants must audition to be considered for this award. Award amount ranges from $12,000 – $20,000, which is distributed over four years.

At Cleveland State University, students with a minor, or those majoring in dance can apply for dance scholarships. Applicants must participate in the Dance Company to qualify. Award includes one full year of paid tuition, or one semester. This is a nonrenewable scholarship.

Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania offers departmental scholarships for a variety of performing arts fields, including dance. The scholarship awards $1,500 and requires the students to audition, along with other strict requirements.

In Michigan, Alma College offers scholarships through their dance department. Most scholarships award $1,500 for one year. They are typically need-based awards, and require an audition. Alma College also offers performance scholarships for new or transfer students. These scholarships are awarded based on the student’s loyalty to the school’s dance department, and their dance achievements. This scholarship is renewable.

The Alumni Association of the University of California—Los Angeles (UCLA), offers a scholarship especially for emerging performing arts students. The Alumni Association Arts Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen and transfer students pursuing a career in performing arts. Award amounts vary.

Outside scholarships are also available to dance students. Some examples include:

Jessica Karrat Dance Scholarship Fund —this is a merit-based scholarship for students wishing to take part in dance education. All dance types are accepted. Award amount is $500.

The Jason Robins Dance Scholarship—this scholarship is awarded to students to help fund formal dance lessons. Award amount varies.

The American Tap Dance Foundation offers several scholarships including the Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to tap students, either youth or college bound, to be used to cover tuition expenses. This is a need- and talent-based scholarship.

Another organization offering dance scholarships is the American Harlequin Corporation Dance Scholarship. This award is given to up to 20 students, randomly selected. Applicants must be pursuing a performing arts career. Award amount ranges from $500 – $5,000.

The Dance Gallery Foundation provides a number of scholarships, including the Margot Fonteyn Scholarship, and the Jose Limon Scholarship. These scholarships are dedicated to female (M. Fonteyn award), and male (J. Limon award) students looking to study with the Dance Gallery Studio. These are need-based scholarships awarded to students with a strong commitment to dance, and outstanding talent.

Tips on Dance Scholarships

  • Talk to the financial aid office on campus for all scholarship opportunities, including general or departmental awards.
  • Meet with the dance department staff for additional scholarship opportunities, especially those specific to one’s career goals.
  • Check online for outside scholarships offered by corporations and foundations, locally, regionally, and nationally.

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