New York City Dance Alliance’s 16th season was truly life-changing for seven young competitors who received scholarships at Nationals this July. Though this is only the second year that NYCDA awarded college scholarships, it was able to offer a collective $500,000.
Last year, two full scholarships to University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were given. This year, Marymount Manhattan College in NYC came aboard with five four-year partial scholarships. Recipients were selected based on applications and auditions held at the Nationals finale. Scholarships were awarded at the closing night gala ceremonies in New York City.
“I reached out to the colleges and invited them to attend our gala,” says Joe Lanteri, executive director of NYCDA. “Dancers benefit from a college education. Those who have been to college are more prepared to truly attack what the world has to offer and take advantage of it.”
Scott Jovovich, NYCDA ballet teacher and adjunct associate professor at UArts, was crucial in setting the new program in motion. In addition to the college funds, several prestigious summer study scholarships were awarded from studios and conservatories nationwide.
Lanteri says that next summer there will be even more opportunities. Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, is already on board, and discussions with several other schools are in the works. “This could change the way that scholarships happen in the dance world,” says Lanteri. “I have established a million-dollar challenge for next summer, and I guarantee that we’re going to make it.”
Photo: Anthony Tiedeman received scholarship money at NYCDA in 2009. (courtesy of NYCDA and ProPix, UT)