Guides & Resources

2018 Dance Magazine Scholarship Guide

PC Matthew Murphy for Pointe

These funding opportunities offer tuition scholarships for dance training at the program of your choice. See websites for additional opportunities and details on how to apply.

M=merit-based award

N=need-based award

AmeriDance Inc./STUDIO LIVE!

Westerville, OH

Contact: Tiffiny Robinson-Smith


Dancer of the Year (M)
Amount: $500–$1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for college/university

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Association of Dance Conventions & Competitions

Sarasota, FL

Contact: The ADCC


Amount: $500–$1,000 (5–15) (M)

Pays for: Tuition only; paid directly to the winner's college or university

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Australian Dance Council–Ausdance Inc. (Ausdance National)

Canberra, Australia

Contact: Kerry Comerford, executive director


Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship

Amount: $10,000 (1)

Pays for: Choreographer development for mid-career choreographers (35+ years)

Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship

Amount: $5,000 (1)

Pays for: Travel, choreography and tuition for emerging choreographers (under 40 years) across any dance genre to support international travel and choreographic development

Deadline: TBA 2019

Chicago National Association of Dance Masters

Rockford, IL

Contact: Kathy Velasco


CNADM College Scholarship (M/N)

Amount: $1,000–$5,000 (up to 4)

Pays for: Tuition for college where studying dance

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Washington, DC


CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship (M)

Amount: $3,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for African-American students pursuing a full-time major in the performing arts

Deadline: Spring 2019

Dance Council of North Texas

Dallas, TX

Contact: Mair Cawston


Buster Cooper Tap Scholarship (M)

Amount: $500 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for any summer program in tap at least 100 miles from home studio

Deadline: February 9, 2019

Charles Andrew Kulp Memorial Modern

Scholarship (M)

Amount: $1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for any summer program in modern/contemporary dance at least 100 miles from home studio

Deadline: February 9, 2019

Janice LaPointe-Crump Memorial Ballet Scholarship (M)
Amount: $1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for any summer program in ballet at least 100 miles from home studio

Deadline: February 9, 2019

ICHF Scholarship (M)
Amount: $500 (1)

Pays for: Tuition for any Indian classical dance or another traditional dance discipline workshop or program

Deadline: February 9, 2019

Dance USA Performing Arts Championships

Las Vegas, NV

Contact: Tiffanie Kalisz


ART Scholarship (America's Rising Talent
Scholarship) (M)
Amount: Less than $250 (1 per year at National Finals)

Pays for: Tuition; for continuing education in dance training to use at winner's discretion

Deadline: Awarded at National Finals by the national judges and directors

Mark Marino Scholarship (M)
Amount: $250–$500 (1 per year at National Finals)

Pays for: Tuition; for continuing education in dance training to use at winner's discretion

Deadline: Awarded at National Finals by national judges and directors

Dizzy Feet Foundation

Los Angeles, CA


Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship Award (M/N)

Amount: Up to $10,000 (varies)

Pays for: Tuition to the school/dance program applicant is currently enrolled in

Deadline: Rolling; must be nominated by an accredited institution

Gene Kelly Legacy Scholarship (M/N)

Amount: Up to $10,000 (varies)

Pays for: Tuition to the school/dance program applicant is currently enrolled in

Deadline: Rolling; must be nominated by an accredited institution

Eurotard Dancewear

Alpharetta, GA

Contact: Mia Burdette


Eurotard Dancewear Performing Arts
Scholarship (M)

Amount: $250–$500 (12)

Pays for: Tuition, travel, competition, choreography; any dance-related expense

Eurotard Dancewear Performing Arts Scholarship, Grand Prize (M)

Amount: $250–$1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition, travel, competition, choreography; any dance-related expense

Deadline: November 30, 2018

Foundation for Excellence in Education

Tallahassee, FL

Contact: Lisa K. Raguso


Arts for Life Scholarship (M)

Amount: $1,000 (25)

Pays for: Tuition

Deadline: Application period runs September 1–February 5; must be a graduating high school senior in Florida to apply

Jersey Tap Fest

East Hanover, NJ
Contact: Hillary-Marie


Amount: Less than $250 (5) (M/N)

Pays for: Tuition

Deadline: May 25, 2019

Kathryn Morgan by DanceWear Corner

Contact: Jon DeMott

Amount: $1,000 (4) (M)

Pays for: Tuition for dance training, competition, master classes or summer study

Deadline: Pending (scholarships awarded quarterly)

Las Casas Foundation

San Antonio, TX


Performing Arts Scholarship Program–Joci Awards (M)

Amount: $10,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition to the college of awardee's choice

Deadline: Prior to 2019 Joci Awards showcase; for high school students in Texas

Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship

Charlotte, NC

Contact: Eric Figueroa


Amount: $10,000 (2) (N)

Pays for: Tuition and fees

Deadline: April 2019; applicants must be high school seniors in specific Charlotte-region counties

National Dance Education Organization

Silver Spring, MD

Contact: Tiana Chambers


National Honor Society for Dance Arts Award (M)

Amount: $1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition, living expenses or dance education opportunities

Deadline: February 22, 2019; must be inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) Secondary Program; applicants may be eligible if an NDEO state affiliates chooses to present

National YoungArts Foundation

Miami, FL

Contact: Heike Dempster


Amount: Up to $10,000 (400) (M)

Pays for: Tuition for school or conservatory at the applicant's discretion
Deadline: October 12, 2018

New York City Dance Alliance

New York, NY

Contact: Leah Brandon

NYCDA Foundation College Scholarship Program (M)

Amount: $5,000–$25,000

Pays for: Tuition payments towards the college dance or musical theater program of applicant's choice

Deadline: Apply by attending scholarship audition (summer 2019)

Open Door Dance Foundation

Charlotte, NC

Contact: Jacqueline White


Amount: $250–$2,500 (varies) (N)

Pays for: Tuition for summer intensives, workshops, master classes, private studios, college programs

Deadline: April 1, 2019

Princess Grace Foundation–USA

New York, NY

Contact: Princess Grace Foundation–USA


Dance: Performance Scholarships (M)

Amount: Varies (1–6)

Pays for: Tuition to the nonprofit program the dance student is currently enrolled in or salary assistance for full-time company members

Deadline: 2019 applications will be available in January 2019; must be nominated Choreographic Fellowship (M)

Amount: $10,000 (1–3)

Pays for: $8,000 towards the choreographer's fee and remaining $2,000 towards travel, lodging and/or production expenses

Deadline: 2019 applications will be available in January 2019; must be nominated

Starpower Talent Competition

Edgewater, MD

Contact: Noelle Packett


Amount: $1,000 (1) (M)

Pays for: Tuition for higher education

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Talent on Parade

Haysville, KS

Contact: Audra Key


TOP Senior Scholarship (M)
Amount: $1,000 (1)

Pays for: Tuition; for high school seniors participating in TOP national events

Deadline: May 2019; apply online

Unity Dance

Lynchurg, VA

Contact: Shayna Crews


Studio Owner Scholarship for Advancing Business Skill Sponsored by Cicci Dance Supplies (M/N)

Amount: $500 (1)

Pays for: Tuition; studio owner scholarship for business advancement studies

Deadline: December 31, 2018

Community Outreach Grant (M/N)

Amount: $500 (1)

Pays for: To help start community programs or fund special projects within established programs

Deadline: December 31, 2018

Dance Teacher Scholarship for Professional Development Sponsored by UNITY (M/N)

Amount: $500 (1)

Pays for: Tuition; dance teacher scholarship for professional development/continuing education in the field

Deadline: December 31, 2018

U.S. All Star Federation

Memphis, TN

Contact: Gena Evans


U.S. All Star Federation College Scholarship (M)

Amount: $2,500–$10,000 (5)

Pays for: Tuition; funds are submitted to the college/university in the recipient's name

Deadline: February 1, 2019

The Conversation
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When Thomas Forster isn't in the gym doing his own workout, he's often coaching his colleagues.

Two years ago, the American Ballet Theatre soloist got a personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Now he trains fellow ABT members and teaches the ABT Studio Company a strength and conditioning class alongside fellow ABT soloist Roman Zhurbin.

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Sin #2: Misaligning the spine. Photo by Erin Baiano

Throughout your dancing life, you've heard the same corrections over and over. The reason for the repetition? Dancers tend to make the same errors, sometimes with catastrophic results. Dance Magazine spoke to eight teachers about what they perceive to be the worst habits—the ones that will destroy a dancer's technique—and what can be done to reverse the damage.

Rolling In

To get a 180-degree first position, dancers will sometimes let their arches roll forward. But turnout is not about forcing your feet open; it's about opening up in the hips. “Turning out is an activity, not a position," says Irene Dowd, who teaches anatomy at the Juilliard School. “If we stop sustaining that movement, our feet will passively roll in." Rolling in places stress on the tendons of the feet and leads to injury because the rest of the body compensates for the imbalance when your knees can't line up over your toes.

Dowd warns against using only the arch to combat rolling in. “Dancers will try to lift up their arches and pull up on the inside of the ankle," she says. This can result in the inflammation of the tendons in the ankle and lead to tendinitis, a painful overuse injury that's common in dancers. What she feels are “Victorian furniture feet—feet that aren't fully in contact with the ground" should be solid in three areas: the heel, the ball of the big toe, and the ball of the little toe. Imagine how your weight is being transferred from above, through the body and down the legs, rather than gripping the foot and lifting from the arch.

Misaligning the Spine

Distorting the back, either by crunching the lumbar vertebrae and splaying the rib cage open or by hunching the shoulders forward and tucking the pelvis under, affects every other part of the body. Since the proper placement of the torso is the foundation of any movement, a dancer with a misaligned spine will develop other deadly technique sins. Problems can ripple all the way down to the extremities and upward to the neck and head. The core will be loose, unable to provide essential support. A pelvis that either tips back or tucks under will limit the range of motion in the hips.

Christine Spizzo's students at the North Carolina School of the Arts constantly work on their placement. “The one directive I give in class more than any other," she says, “is tailbone down, navel muscles lifted." She emphasizes that the tailbone lengthens downward without tucking under, and the navel muscles lift upward, not inward. This opposition allows the external rotator muscles to be actively engaged at the top of the thigh. Spizzo uses the expression the Four Ts—“no tucking, tipping, tilting, or twisting of the pelvis"—as a reminder for students.

Clenching the Toes

Clenching, curling, knuckling—no matter what it's called, this condition hampers a dancer's ability to articulate the feet. Clenched toes also make the feet an unstable platform to stand on, creating problems for the rest of the body. The muscles and tendons of the foot, knee, and ankle must work together to perform a relevé or jump, says Edward Ellison, director of Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program in New York. Clenched toes will place unwanted stress on the joints of the legs, leading to imbalance and overuse injuries. On pointe, knuckling over can damage the bones and tendons of the feet.

Master ballet teacher Sara Neece of Ballet Arts in New York says that when the first joint of the toe presses down into the floor too hard, the second joint of the toe jams into the metatarsal. For Neece, the key to remedying clenched toes lies in “bringing sensation to those unused tendons" beneath the second joint, and teaching the toes how to work in a careful and deliberate manner. While seated, a dancer should prick the back of each clenched toe with a fingernail about 20 times. Sitting on a chair with the foot on the ground, she should drag it back toward the body, slowly raising it to demi-pointe with a forced arch. Teachers must pay attention to the response of the feet to this localized work, since overstressing the tendons can damage them. Another way to teach the toes to stretch out is to weave a strip of cloth over the second toe and alternate below and above successive toes, leaving it there during barrework and nondance activities.

Giving In to Extreme Hyperextension

Hyperextended legs, in which the straightened knee naturally curves behind the thigh and calf muscles, are prized in the world of extreme ballet bodies. Christine Spizzo sings the praise of a moderately hyperextended leg line, as the leg fits snugly in fifth position, and the arabesque looks gorgeous, with that slight curve offsetting the arch of the foot. However, dancers with extreme hyperextension must take special care. “The hyperextended dancer tends to have weak external rotator muscles," she says, so the legs are more prone to collapse in on themselves when landing from a jump, letting the body weight fall on the knees. This can result in damage to the joints that maintain the alignment of the leg, including twisted knees and sprained ankles. Even if the dancer understands how to avoid giving in to her hyperextension, she has to learn how to express herself fully while restraining her legs.

But Spizzo points to dancers such as international star Sylvie Guillem, who has used her extreme hyperextension to her advantage. The dancer must think of lengthening rather than straightening or locking the knee, even if it feels slightly bent. She must develop a heightened awareness of the turnout muscles from the top of the thigh down to the calf. “The muscles must be activated to not allow the dancer to give in to the hyperextension," says Spizzo. She uses the image of the barbershop pole to encourage dancers to apply that feeling of an infinite spiral to their legs. Somatic practices such as Pilates can help to strengthen those stabilizing turnout muscles. Spizzo insists that dancers stand with the heels together in first position and never be allowed to press back into that knee joint. To do this, “the quadriceps must remain soft. As soon as you grip, it pulls that kneecap back dangerously."

Using Unnecessary Tension

“Tension," says Daniel Lewis, dean of dance at the New World School of the Arts, “pulls you off balance. It tightens the muscles and causes injury." Stiff muscles are injury-prone muscles, which make free and confident movement impossible.

Unwanted stiffness can also limit your versatility as a dancer. “Modern dance is concerned with trying to go into space off-center and off-balance," says Mary Cochran, chair of the dance department at Barnard College. “If you spend too much time holding your body stiffly, it's hard to make the transition from working in-balance to working off-balance."

Rhythmic breathing helps dissipate tension. Think of the lungs as another limb and pace the breath with the dynamics of the music. Sustain a sense of motion in the body, even when you are still, advises Cochran. Doing so will help reverse the muscle memory of using tension as a form of stability.

Pinching Your Shoulder Blades

Although used as a strategy to open the chest in front, pinching your shoulder blades together immobilizes the back. The serratus anterior on the sides of your rib cage is so overstretched that it can't work. Edward Ellison says that pinched shoulder blades impede the freedom of the arms and the support of the upper spine. He feels that they “cause your weight to fall behind your axis, and strain the trapezius and rhomboid muscles of the back."

Irene Dowd suggests thinking about widening the tips of the shoulders to the side, to allow plenty of room for the chest. “It helps to think about the chest—full of your lungs, your heart, all those organs—as a sphere," says Dowd. “We need to have enough room for all those precious organs to breathe." To relax shoulder blades, sometimes she will tell students to focus on the movement of the hands. “Is the hand really a lively part of my being?" Dowd has her students ask. “The shoulder blade should support that hand."

Getting Stuck in a Rut

While physical habits impede progress, the deadliest sin is losing the drive to improve technique at all. Franco De Vita, principal of American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, says good technique begins with a dancer's approach to class. Being present and focused enables the dancer to learn combinations quickly—and correctly. “Not listening and changing the exercise is unacceptable," says De Vita.

Michael Vernon, chair of the ballet department at Indiana University, feels the worst thing a dancer can do “is to get fixed into doing something a certain way, being safe. I love young dancers who understand that you have to dance for tomorrow, and not yesterday." Keeping an open mind means more than just trying a different preparation for a pirouette. “Being open to new styles of dance and new ways of moving the body is vital to keeping the art relevant."

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I write this letter knowing full well and first-hand the financial challenges of running an arts organization. I also write this letter on behalf of dancers auditioning for your companies. Lastly, I write this letter as a member of society at large and as someone who cares deeply about the culture we are leading and the climate we create in the performing arts.

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Dance History
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In the February 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we talked to Bob Fosse about taking Sweet Charity from stage to screen. Though he already had a string of Tony Awards for Best Choreography and had spent plenty of time on film sets as a choreographer, this adaptation marked his first time sitting in the director's chair for a motion picture.

"When I started out, I wanted to be a Fred Astaire," he told us, "and after that a Jerome Robbins. But then I realized there was always somebody a dancer or choreographer had to take orders from. So I decided I wanted to become a director, namely a George Abbott. But as I got older I dropped the hero-worship thing. I didn't want to emulate anyone. Just wanted to do the things I was capable of doing—and have some fun doing them. By this time I'm glad I didn't turn out to be an Astaire, a Robbins or an Abbott." He would go on to become an Academy Award–winning director, indelibly changing musical theater in the process.

The Creative Process
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If you've ever wondered where models get their moves, look just off-camera for Pat Boguslawski. As a movement director and creative consultant based in London, he works with top brands, fashion designers, magazines and film directors to elicit bold, photogenic movement for ad campaigns, runway shows and film. Boguslawski has collaborated with plenty of big-name talent—FKA Twigs, Hailey Baldwin, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian—and draws on his diverse experience in hip hop, contemporary dance, acting and modeling.

Dance Magazine recently asked him about how he got this career, and what it takes to thrive in it.

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Health & Body
Leon Liu/Unsplash

Let's say that today you're having a terrible time following your class's choreography and are feeling ashamed—you're always stumbling a few beats behind. Do you:

1. Admit it's your fault because you didn't study the steps last night? Tonight you'll nail them down.
2. Feel worthless and alone? You slump your shoulders, avoid eye contact with your teacher and fellow dancers, and wish to disappear.

Shame is a natural emotion that everyone occasionally feels. If you answered #1, it may be appropriate—you earned it by not studying—and positive if it motivates you to do better in the future.

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Advice for Dancers
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My hypermobility used to cause me a lot of trouble, but I've gained confidence and strength after reading about it in one of your columns. I now have a Pilates instructor who's retraining my body and helping me dance in a consistent way. Thank you!

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Dance History
Wendy Whelan spoke with Balanchine legends Allegra Kent, Kay Mazzo, Gloria Govrin and Merrill Ashley. Eduardo Patino.NYC, Courtesy NDI

George Balanchine famously wrote, that ballet "is a woman." Four of his most celebrated women—Allegra Kent, Gloria Govrin, Kay Mazzo and Merrill Ashley—appeared onstage at Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute Monday evening to celebrate his legacy. The sold-out program, called "Balanchine's Ballerinas," included performances of excerpts from ballets closely associated with these women and a discussion, moderated by former New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan. Here are some highlights of the conversation, filled with affection, warmth and fond memories.

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