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Every January, students, parents, professionals, and lovers of dance all gather for the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's annual fundraising performance "Destiny Rising" at The Joyce Theater. And every year we fall a little bit more in love with the foundation's mission: "Investing in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education." Since its founding in 2010, the foundation has awarded over $2.5 million in scholarships. Because of the program (and its uber-generous donors), kids across the country literally get to attend college and pursue their dance dreams. What could be better than that?! Not much...

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UNITY, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together diverse dance education organizations, is offering four scholarships for dance teachers and studio owners. Each $500 award goes toward professional development, business-related study or community outreach program funding. To be eligible, applicants must belong to a UNITY member organization. The deadline for 2017 scholarship applications is December 31.

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The American Dance Institute, located in Rockville, Maryland, has a new scholarship program designed to increase racial diversity in dance. The program provides financial assistance to dancers ages 12 to 18 pursuing dance training at pre-professional institutions around the country. Scholarships of up to $5,000 per year go toward tuition, housing, transportation, clothing and shoes.

The ADI Future Artists Initiative is application-based. Forty pre-professional dance schools nominate up to 10 students each. A minimum of eight students will be awarded scholarships. The first group of recipients will be announced this month.

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick K. Grant perform with Dorrance Dance at the American Dance Institute as part of their 2015–16 season.

Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of American Dance Institute

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Cancer impacts the lives of the sufferer’s entire family. If a parent faces frequent treatments, appointments and hospital stays, there isn’t much money leftover for children’s extracurriculars—like dance class. One studio in Salt Lake City strives to make it a little easier for families battling cancer to keep kids dancing.

At Artistic Endeavors Dance, owner Kim Luke offers free lifetime tuition to dancers who have a family member with cancer. That way, dancers or those interested in starting classes can train without further straining their family’s finances. Luke has awarded nine scholarships so far and even provided some students’ ballet and tap shoes.

Having lost her own father to cancer shortly after opening her studio, Luke told The Salt Lake Tribune the scholarships are in his memory. "My dad gave me $1,000 to start this business," she said. "He died a year later and never got to see that I have 300 students."

Photo courtesy of Artistic Endeavors

YoungArts Week 2012 dance finalists performing at the New World Center

Calling all high school dancers! The 2014 YoungArts application is now open, and the deadline to apply for this prestigious scholarship program is October 18. Applicants must be in grades 10–12, and the application process is two-fold: There’s an online component, and students must also submit an audition portfolio.

But the perks of becoming a YoungArts finalist are well worth the effort of applying. Winners receive access to mentors, monetary prizes, national recognition and the chance to work with master teachers like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jacques d’Amboise and Bill T. Jones over the course of one extraordinary week in Miami, Florida.

There are 10 disciplines (dance, cinematic arts, design arts, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing), and students are encouraged to apply to more than one. Each has its own specific requirements for the audition portfolio, so be sure to read carefully.

Photo by Robert Leslie

Got a few students who are thinking of studying dance in college? You might want to encourage them to check out Acceptd is a unique website, designed for those on both sides of the college application process: students looking to major in a performing art in college can upload and share a portfolio with collegiate programs and even apply to colleges, and those same collegiate programs can simultaneously search for talented candidates they’d like to recruit.

With Acceptd, students can first explore dance offerings at the many colleges Acceptd partners with, and then find out exactly what they need to submit to programs they’d like to apply to. You can even apply to those programs and pay the associated admission fee via Acceptd. (The website itself is totally free to use, though.) Because Acceptd is also used by college dance programs looking to recruit students, you can choose to concentrate on building your own digital portfolio on the website—complete with media samples, a headshot, resumé and more—and then share it with dozens of programs instantly.

Right now, Acceptd is offering a Get Showcased scholarship contest. You only need to fill out a simple questionnaire and complete the creative response: How have the performing arts impacted your life? The winner will be chosen based on creativity, originality and the quality of his or her answer. You can submit a video, picture, document, audio file or even just plain text when completing the creative response. The winner will receive a one-time $500 scholarship, and the top five entries will have the opportunity to showcase their submission to hundreds of collegiate programs, followers and friends of the site.

So what are you waiting for? Start crafting a response, already!

Catherine Hurlin of ABT's Studio CompanyLast night, the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation celebrated dance education at NYC’s Joyce Theater. Highlights of the benefit concert, “Destiny Rising,” included performances by members of American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (including Dance212's Catherine Hurlin), conservatory dancers from Point Park University and many NYCDA alumni.

Since its inception in 2010, NYCDAF’s college scholarship program has provided over five million dollars to more than 100 college-bound dancers. College partners like Point Park, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and newly added University of North Carolina School of the Arts provide a large portion of the funding and recruit dancers directly from NYCDAF auditions. The next audition will be held July 2, in conjunction with the NYCDA summer workshop in Manhattan. Applications are due June 15.

Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy of JKO School

David Hallberg is giving back to the dance communities that raised him. The Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre principal has established two scholarships over the past few years at ABT's JKO School in NYC, and recently at the School of Ballet Arizona, where he trained as a young dancer.

The scholarships cover students' tuition and offer a chance to be mentored by the dance luminary himself. The goal, says Hallberg, is to help young (particularly male) students on the often difficult road to a professional dance career. "My personal journey to finding ballet was riddled with hardships," he says. "But once ballet found a place in my life as a kid, I couldn’t let go of its exhilarating pulse. To pass on the inspiration I felt when I was first discovering ballet is a completely invaluable experience.”

Photo by Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine


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