High school students interested in pursuing a career in dance need special training, which may include enrolling in a dance program at a college or university. As with other areas of study, tuition doesn't always come cheap, and many students use financial aid and scholarships to help pay for their education.
Harlequin Dance Scholarship
Since 1999, the American Harlequin company has sponsored a dance scholarship program in order to help young people pursue a career in dance. Scholarship recipients are chosen in a random drawing, therefore the awards are not based on merit, talent or financial status. Harlequin selects 20 people per year in the random drawing. Awards include one $5,000 scholarship, two $3,000 scholarships, three $2,000 scholarships, two $1,000 scholarships and 12 $500 scholarships. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens between the ages of 15 and 21 in order to qualify. All applicants must also be enrolled in either a public or private dance school. Applications for the scholarship may be completed online, faxed or mailed to American Harlequin.
American Harlequin Corporation Dance Scholarship Program 1531 Glen Avenue Moorestown, NJ 08057 800-642-6440 harlequinfloors.com
Hall of Fame Dance Foundation Scholarships
Every year, the Hall of Fame Dance Foundation awards 10 $1,000 scholarships and 20 $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. To apply, a student must be a dancer in senior high school and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. A letter of recommendation from the student's dance studio director is required, and the applicant must write a one page essay on the importance of dance her life and future. Points will be awarded by the directors of the Hall of Fame Dance Foundation based on the applicants GPA, letter of recommendation and personal essay. Those with the highest number of points will receive scholarships. All awarded scholarship money goes directly to the college that the winner will attend.
Hall of Fame Dance Foundation 3160 Haggerty Rd., Suite E-F West Bloomfield, MI 48323 866-326-2399 halloffamedance.com/foundation
Youth America Grand Prix
The prestigious Youth America Grand Prix is the largest student ballet competition in the world, and awards over $250,000 in scholarships every year. This scholarship competition was created in 1999 by Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, former dancers in the world famous Bolshoi Ballet. Dancers must first compete in regional semi-finals, and winners will then be selected to move on to the final competition in New York City. Scholarships are awarded in a number of categories based on scoring in the final rounds. The Youth America Grand Prix is open to dance students from ages 9 to 19. Dancers may perform solo routines, as part of an ensemble or both. Contestants will be separated into age divisions and may perform classical ballet or contemporary dance routines. A fee is required to participate.
Youth America Grand Prix 304 Park Ave South, Suite 1004 New York, NY 10010 212-590-2325 yagp.org
Jessica Taylor has been writing professionally since 2007. She has contributed a number of articles online on topics ranging from fashion to technology to travel. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of South Florida.