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 790 scholarships for dancers worth $6M.

Charline E. McCue Memorial Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in culinary arts, dance, music, fashion design, theater, or writing. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

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, 2023

Gerrit R. Ludwig Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available for Hawaii undergraduate and graduate students; preference is given to students who are majoring in fine arts or classics. Students must be graduates of one of the following East Hawai’i public schools: Hilo, Honoka’a, Kea’au, Laupahoehoe, Pahoa, or Waiakea.

Total: $44250

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Cottey College Fine Arts Scholarship

This award is available to U.S. undergraduate students who are attending Cottey College in Missouri. Students must demonstrate a strong academic proficiency in art, dance, music, or theatre/speech.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Arts for Life! Scholarship

Each year Arts for Life! awards $1,000 scholarships to 25 graduating high school seniors in Florida. This award is available for U.S. and international high school seniors in Florida. Students must demonstrate artistic merit and academic excellence in creative writing, dance, music, theatre or visual arts.

Total: $50000

Awards: 25

Deadline: February 03, 2023

Senator James M. Jeffords Endowed Scholarship to Honor Marian Hausman Jeffords

This award is available to high school seniors who reside in Rutland County, Vermont, or attend a Rutland County high school. Students must be seeking a degree in the arts, including (but not limited to) music, visual arts, dance, or theater; students must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need.

Total: $8000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 11, 2023

Beverage Industry High School Scholarship

This award is available to current high school seniors in California who have a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian who is a proprietor of an establishment with a California liquor license, or who is employed full-time by an individual or corporation holding a California liquor license. To be eligible, the applicant must have participated in one or more of the following extracurricular activities during his/her junior and senior years of high school: community service, athletics, music or the performing arts.

Total: $18000

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 15, 2023

Michigan Tuition Grant

This award is available to Michigan resident undergraduate students who are attending independent, degree-granting Michigan institutions. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Total: $2800

Awards: 4

Deadline: March 01, 2023

Washington American Indian Endowed Scholarship

This award is available to Washington undergraduate and graduate students who are currently attending or planning to attend a postsecondary institution in Washington. The student must have close cultural and social ties to an American Indian community in Washington.

Total: $30000

Awards: 15

Deadline: March 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