Most colleges and universities with active athletic programs have competitive dance teams to accompany them. Some offer scholarships for dance team members that range in size depending upon the school. In addition to scholarships, participation in college dance teams provides other benefits including free postseason travel, uniforms and apparel and even television exposure.
Hawaii Pacific University Dance Team
Hawaii Pacific University’s award-winning dance team offers partial tuition waiver scholarships for members of its dance teams. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years. Recipients must audition for the dance team each year to re-qualify for the scholarship.
Texas Tech University Pom Squad
Texas Tech University, a member of the Big 12 Athletic Conference, offers $1,000 scholarships to members of its spirit squad. Members also receive out-of state tuition waiver, which provides a significant decrease in cost for those coming from outside of the state to attend college. Other perks include academic tutoring, paid travel opportunities and on-campus meal plans.
Some community colleges may offer scholarships for dance team participants. For example, McLellan Community College in Waco, Texas offers full and partial scholarships to dance team members. In addition, it offers housing, a food allowance and free travel. Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas offers tuition and books to members of its Tigerette dance team. Members with a 3.5 grade point average or above receive an additional $500 academic bonus. The college provides all performance uniforms and travel expenses.
National Dance Alliance
The National Dance Alliance is a trade group serving the dance spirit industry. Each year, the NDA hosts over 75,000 cheerleaders and dancers at its summer camps and more than 1,500 teams in its National Championship competitions. Through its recruitment webpage, the NDA maintains a list of the schools that have dance teams, scholarship money available and other perks offered.
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Dannelle F. Walker is an education lawyer and policy maker. Her areas of expertise include teacher liability, educator ethics, and school operations. She holds a JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law.