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 854 scholarships for dancers worth $6M.

Phil Layton Award of Excellence in the Arts

Junior, senior, fifth-year undergraduate engineering students at George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University are eligible for awards ranging from $2K-$4k. Applicants must show an involvement in performing, visual or written arts.

Total: $8000

Awards: 2

Deadline: October 31, 2021

Harriet Mattusch Special Recognition Award

If you’re worried about paying for college, scholarships and financial aid are available. Students must be declared BFA dance majors to be considered for the following scholarship opportunities.

Total: $2500

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 01, 2021

Wake Forest University Presidential Scholarships for Distinguished Achievement

Twenty renewable scholarships of $16,000 each are awarded annually to students admitted to Wake Forest who possess exceptional talents in art, dance, debate, music, and theatre.

Total: $16000

Awards: 20

Deadline: December 31, 2021

Hope College Distinguished Artist Award

It provides eligible students with $3,000 each year towards their college costs and is renewable for up to four years. The DAA is awarded to students with strong academic records and outstanding creative abilities in art, dance, music, theater and creative writing.

Total: $3000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2022

George Mason University Dance Talent Scholarship

f you’re worried about paying for college, scholarships and financial aid are available. Students must be declared BFA dance majors to be considered for the following scholarship opportunities. For merit and talent scholarship consideration, applicants must apply to the university by November 1 and have auditioned on one of the audition dates

Total: $1000

Awards: 2

Deadline: November 01, 2022

Grace Kelly Trainning Scholarship

The Grace Kelly Scholarship is in partnership with the Educational Theatre Foundation and recipients will be selected through the Educational Theatre Foundation’s International Thespian Excellence Awards (or Thespys), which recognize the highest level of achievement in high school theater performance and technical theater. Specific Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible you must be part of the International Thespian Society. 5 recipients selected annually will receive a total of $6,000: $1,000/year 4-year scholarship to attend a college, conservatory, or pre-professional training program, a $1,000 award upon completion plus a $1,000 internship stipend. Winners will be paired with a professional mentor chosen by the Princess Grace Foundation from its Princess Grace Award winners

Total: $5000

Awards: 5

Deadline: November 20, 2022

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

Lois Livingston McMillen Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is open to incoming and current female undergraduate students who reside in the Connecticut Community Foundation’s 21-town service area. Students must have a grade point average of B- (2.75) or higher, and must pursue an artistic career (preference to those pursuing painting and design).

Total: $2216

Awards: 3

Deadline: March 15

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