Dance Scholarships

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What Dance Scholarships are Available for College? 

A wide range of dance scholarships for college may be available to those who qualify. Scholarships for dance majors are for ballet, modern, hip-hop, tap, jazz, choreography, and world dance students. There are also dance education scholarships that could help you prepare to teach dance to others. 

Many dance major scholarships are merit based which make a college degree more affordable. You usually must showcase your dancing ability and academic achievements. Award amounts range from smaller sums to full tuition. You might use the dance scholarship to pursue dance  in a BA, BFA or MFA degree program at an accredited college.

Some dance college scholarship awards are for high schoolers like the NFAA YoungArts Program. National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Inc. awards cash prizes of between $100 and $10,000. High school students in grades 10 to 12 and dancers between the ages of 15 to 18 could audition. 

As an incoming freshman you may qualify for scholarships from the school you enroll in. George Mason University offers two Dance Talent Scholarships to new first year college students. Scholarship recipients must show outstanding talent at an audition. Plus, the award is renewable for up to four years if you maintain a 3.0 GPA. 

How Do You Get a Scholarship for Dancers?

There are many sources to check for dance major scholarships. Many local businesses and corporations as well as your state government may offer awards. The Iowa Scholarship for the Arts is for eligible resident undergraduate students with proven artistic ability in dance and fine arts.

Arts foundations, nonprofit schools and performing arts schools may offer scholarship opportunities too. You should also reach out to the dance department of the college. The financial aid office or dance teachers may help you find more scholarships for dancers.

In order to receive a dance scholarship for college, you may have to wow a panel of judges. It could be through an audition, nomination, or an artistic portfolio of taped performances. While talent is important, scholarship funds may be set aside to help those with unmet financial need. 

Also, the scholarship provider could ask for details and other info such as:

  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Minimum cumulative GPA
  • Full time enrollment in a specific dance program (E.g. BFA with a minor in dance)
  • Member of a specific organization or minority group (E.g. African American)

Could You Get a Full Ride Scholarship for Dance?

A full ride scholarship for dance may be available to very few dance students. These dance scholarships may get competitive. Besides covering the cost of tuition, full ride awards could pay fees and a stipend for expenses such as housing. 

Wake Forest University offers renewable full ride scholarships of $16,000 each on an annual basis. They go to students with exceptional talents in art, dance, debate, music, and theater. To apply, you must have a taped performance and recommendations. 

10 Scholarships for Dance Majors to Perform for in 2021 

Start your scholarship search with these dance scholarships. Make sure to submit before the scholarship application deadline and submit all necessary information.

  1. Arts For Life! Scholarship
  2. Wake Forest University Presidential Scholarships for Distinguished Achievement
  3. University of Maine Visual Arts/ Performing Arts Scholarship
  4. George Mason University Dance Talent Scholarship 
  5. Hofstra University Grant in Aid Dance Scholarship
  6. Phil Layton Award of Excellence in the Arts
  7. CBCF Souses USA Performing Arts Scholarship
  8. Alma College Performance Scholarship
  9. Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship
  10. Spotlight Awards Program

Is Going to Dance School Worth It?

Dance school could be worth the time and investment. College students often choose to major or minor in dance as part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program which may provide formal training in technique and practical course work. 

You could also use the time to network and build a portfolio of performance work. Schools may attract talent scouts to scheduled events so you could gain some exposure that might help you pursue your career. 

According to the NCES in 2019 to 2020, 91% of students at The Julliard School receive scholarships and grant aid to help pay for tuition and reduce the need for student loans. Estimated tuition and fees was $49,260 in 2020 to 2021. So a dance scholarship could help reduce the cost of attending this prestigious dance school.

Once you graduate, there may be various paths to consider with favorable job outlooks. The forecast for Dancers and Choreographers is 6% growth rate through 2029 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2020, the median pay was $19.11 per hour for this type of job.

While you may not need a degree to dance, some dancers and choreographers make a shift to produce and direct. In these roles the formal dance training may be very useful. However, entry level jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree or Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Employment should grow 10% to 2029 and yield average annual salaries of $76,400 per year ($36.73 per hour), reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2020.

List of Dance Scholarships

Check out our list of 809 scholarships for dancers worth $6M.

BHD Endowed Scholarship Fund for Teachers

This award is available for permanent residents of Maryland with an interest in a teaching career. Candidates must have an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts, sciences or mathematics and be pursuing a master’s degree in education.

Total: $2500

Awards: 10

Deadline: April 01, 2023

David Jagaciewski Scholarship Fund

This award is available for U.S. high school seniors who are graduating from Poughkeepsie High School in Poughkeepsie, New York. Applicants must pursue a course of study and plan to have a career in the arts, architecture or engineering, interior or fashion design, family or consumer science or landscape architecture.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01, 2023

Alma College Performance Scholarships

Performance Scholarships are available for students based on audition and faculty recommendation. Candidates for these are usually first-year and transfer students, but in some cases scholarships have been awarded to older students. If a student displays the talent, desire and the commitment to the dance department, follows all requirements of an active dance student and has the willingness to become highly involved with the dance department, tStudent must attend all rehearsals and performances of the Alma College Dance Department. If you receive offers for guest artist work with other companies or private schools, the dates you will be absent must be discussed and agreed upon in advance with choreographers and instructors. hese scholarship amounts may rise.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01, 2023

The New York Ramblers Scholarship for Student Athletes

Established in 2016, the Ramblers Scholarship supports student athletes pursuing an undergraduate education who self-identify publicly as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQI). This scholarship is available for student athletes who identify as LGBTQI or committed LGBTQI allies.

Total: $5000

Awards: 2

Deadline: May 01, 2023

Gordan Hay Scholarship

The award is designed for special learning opportunities related to the recipient’s career interest in a non-performance area of theater. Examples include but are not limited to professional conferences, seminars, workshops, participation in an unpaid internship program, professional performances, or technology needs. The award will be administered by the Education Department of Blumenthal Performing Arts. To draw from the “award account,” the recipient must submit a simple but formal request to Blumenthal’s Education Department. It is possible for a recipient to utilize the entire award amount within the first year of college or to occasionally draw from the account as opportunities arise within a four-year undergraduate career. If the total amount of the award is not used during the undergraduate experience, the award recipient will not be entitled to a cash settlement upon graduation. Any amount remaining in the award account will be forfeited.

Total: $5000

Awards: 1

Deadline: June 01, 2023

Brown Girls Do College Scholarship

The Brown Girls Do Ballet® Scholarship program was created in 2013 to provide additional financial support to young dancers wishing to continue their training. The scholarships are open to those seeking to develop further, both educationally and artistically. The annual Brown Girls Do Ballet® Summer Intensive Scholarship is awarded to female dancers of color ages 9-18, who have registered for a summer intensive program.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: June 30, 2023

Berrien Fragos Thorn Arts Scholarship for Migrant Farmworkers

Students who are 16 years of age or older who are interested in pursuing the development of their talents in an art discipline may apply for this award. Students must have a history of movement to obtain work in agriculture.

Total: $2500

Awards: 10

Deadline: November 01

University of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship

This scholarship is available for high school seniors who will graduate from a state-approved Maine high school and plan to attend the University of Maine at Orono.

Total: $12000

Awards: 10

Deadline: December 01

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

This scholarship is available for Iowa students who have graduated this year and will be attending an Iowa college. Students must have proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theatre, traditional arts, or the visual arts, and major in one of those areas.

Total: $1500

Awards: 4

Deadline: March 01

N. Patricia Yarborough Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is open to U.S. high school seniors and adult students entering their freshman year who reside in the Connecticut Community Foundation’s 21-town service area. Students must have a grade point average of B- or higher, and must study music, art, dance, or theatre.

Total: $2216

Awards: 3

Deadline: March 15