The List of Top Dance Scholarships in 2021

A Guest Post by Michael Fowler

The art of dance is not only talent and great skill, tremendous labor, and desire, but also the ability to convey in movement those thoughts and feelings of transformation on the stage, which fascinate the audience and fill life with a special touch of the unknown world of human curves.

The art of dance, being one of the oldest manifestations of folk art, emerged as an expression of strong emotions because it is a dance that enhances the feelings experienced, both by the participants and the audience. Through dance, we can see and feel the music.

Your passion for dance can earn you a scholarship to the top universities of your choice. Together with, we’ve compiled the best dance scholarships that can help you obtain the education you desire.

The Dance Discovery Foundation

The Dance Discovery Foundation offers three scholarship programs that award financial help to exceptional individuals ages eight and older who are enrolled in a school, studio, or institution of dance or performing arts throughout Southern California.

These programs are the SHINE, ACEEL, and Dream Scholarships valued at $500 to $2,000 per year per student.

The scholarship program opens annually for applications on April 1st and has its deadlines for each scholarship; SHINE & ACCEL are May 31st, and Dream Scholarships are July 1st.

Career Transition for Dancers

Established in 1985 and sponsored by the Actors Fund, the Career Transition for Dancers Scholarship for Dancers allows dancers to identify their career opportunities and develop the skills needed to succeed in various disciplines outside of dance.

The program is open to those currently enrolled in a competitive dance education or training program at a dance school, studio, or institution nationwide and intend to earn income as a professional dancer.

Individual recipients are also eligible for individual and group counseling services, referrals to health and medical insurance, and, where possible, access to emergency financial assistance.

IDTANA Scholarships

The Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) presents the Cyril McNiff Memorial Scholarship to graduating high school seniors who have proven excellence in the dance curriculum and studio.

The largest scholarship award is valued between $750 and $2,500 per student.

Desirable applicants are students with Irish dance experience who enroll in accredited undergraduate programs, especially in the performing arts. The recommendation of a TCRG-certified dance instructor is an important part of the application process.

Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship Award

The Dizzy Feet Foundation offers scholarships to talented students attending an accredited or nationally recognized dance school or institute in the United States.

The scholarship is valued at $10,000.00 per student and may be awarded annually as determined by the foundation in its sole discretion. All funds will be paid directly to the institution in which the recipient is registered.

Eligible candidates must be at least 15 years of age and have U.S. citizenship. Candidates will be evaluated based on the student’s talent, technical skills, dance expression, and financial needs.

Gene Kelly Legacy Scholarship

The Dizzy Feet Foundation also annually awards the Gene Kelly Legacy Scholarship to a talented student who is studying dance at an accredited or nationally recognized dance school or institution within the United States. The financial aid is named in honor of the famous director, choreographer, and actor Gene Kelly. It was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Participants must be capable dancers with interest in choreography and interdisciplinary dance expression. They must demonstrate not only excellent physical and athletic performance but also their ability to improvise and be creative, just like Gene Kelly was.

One student may receive a scholarship of up to $10,000. The Foundation may award scholarships annually at its discretion. Financial aid is not paid to the student personally but to the educational institution where he or she is studying to cover his or her tuition costs.

All candidates must be U.S. citizens and be 18 years of age or older. The jury will evaluate talent, dance expression, technical skills and consider the student’s financial needs.

Emma Sue Gibbons Scholarship

The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University offers the Emma Sue Gibbons Scholarship to outstanding students who apply for the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Dance full-time.

The scholarship is worth $1.000 per year. The candidates must be current, incoming freshman, or transfer students with scores of at least 1000 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT, participate in the Summer Summer Summer Dance Intensive, and sign up for DCED Modern Dance I or higher.

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

The Iowa Arts Council offers several scholarships each spring to graduating high school seniors who are pursuing artistic careers, including dance, music, theater, and painting.
Eligible candidates must be Iowa residents, enrolled at accredited public institutions, and demonstrate strong artistic skills. They must submit one letter of recommendation, five dance videos, and a 500-word essay on career aspirations as an online application.
The scholarship is worth $1.500 a year.

Jean Lee/Jeff Marvin Collegiate Scholarship

The Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD) offers six scholarships named after Jean Lee/Jeff Marvin for undergraduate students who earn 12+ credits at Indiana institutions of higher education for appropriate academic majors, including dance.

The scholarship is valued at $1,000 per recipient.

The jury will assess such criteria as academic performance, financial need, professional potential, faculty recommendations, and participation in campus activities and life.

Performing Arts Scholarship Program by Las Casas Foundation 

Awarded by the Las Casas Majestic Theatre Foundation of San Antonio, the Joci Awards Performing Arts Scholarships are offered to high school students each spring in all of the following five musical theater categories: vocal music, acting, dance, best leading actress, and best leading actor. The foundation has awarded about $700,000 since its inception in 1988.

The scholarship is worth $10,000 to attend any U.S. educational institutions.

Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts offers the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, which provides $20,000 to qualified full-time students in the following disciplines: architecture, art, dance, landscape design, theater, music, and urban planning before they turn 25. The jury selects the candidates based on their academic performance and commitment to their goals.


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