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Hubbard Street's New Scholarship for First-Graders

Photo by Todd Rosenberg, courtesy of HSD

Fall is back-to-ballet-school time and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is introducing the HS First Steps scholarship program to help facilitate access to classical ballet classes for young dancers.


HS First Steps seeks to train students ages 6–8 with talent and initiative, regardless of their family's income. To audition for HS First Steps, applicants must be incoming first-graders in the Chicago public school system and eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program.

Students selected for HS First Steps will receive full tuition for weekly ballet classes in the Youth Dance Program at the Hubbard Street Dance Center during the 2017–18 school year.


Photo by Todd Rosenberg, courtesy of HSD

"HS First Steps is designed to formalize our tuition assistance program and provide a clear pathway for students to enter dance training," says Kathryn Humphreys, Hubbard Street's director of education, youth and community programs. "Students who successfully complete the program will be invited to continue their studies each year, moving up through the Secondary Program."

By focusing on first-graders, HS First Steps aims to provide opportunities for students at the time of life when serious ballet education often begins.

Photo by Todd Rosenberg, courtesy of HSD

"Hubbard Street's ballet training starts at age 6 or 7 with our Intro to Ballet class or Ballet A class, so this seemed a natural age to offer this program," Humphreys explains. "Students at this age have the necessary focus and interest to begin their dance training. We hope to create access for students throughout the city who are interested in dance and open the doors to quality dance education for all."

Auditions for HS First Steps will take place August 26 from 1 to 3 pm at the Hubbard Street Dance Center. Audition sessions will consist of 30-minute dance lessons taught by faculty members of the Youth Dance Program. Previous dance experience is not required.

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