An array of ballet scholarships worldwide ensures that there are opportunities available for promising ballet dancers to study at some of the world’s finest ballet schools. Students with abundant talent but lacking financial resources have a way forward, thanks to these scholarships. Many scholarships also open doors to opportunities for travel and for professional dance careers in the future.
Russian American Foundation Scholarships
The New York-based Russian American Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes interest in Russian heritage within the United States and American heritage within Russia. Ballet scholarships are central to the foundation’s mission. To ensure impartiality, RAF awards its merit-based scholarship for extraordinary talent through the Youth American Grand Prix Competition, launched in 1999 by two former Bolshoi Ballet dancers. The annual, worldwide competition welcomes dancers of all nationalities between 9 and 19 years old, providing them with educational and career opportunities. RAF also offers two full scholarships for one male and one female student who complete a six-week summer intensive program. The scholarships provide two weeks’ training with master teachers at the Moscow Bolshoi Ballet Academy. The students also participate in a gala performance with some of the world’s most talented dancers.
The Royal Ballet School Scholarships
According to the Royal Ballet School’s website, the majority of its students depend on financial assistance to attend the school in London. Financial assistance includes full scholarships for Upper School students, maintenance scholarships and part scholarships. In 2010, the school launched the Nadia Nerina Scholarship, a gift in perpetuity through the Philip Loubser Foundation. This scholarship supports exceptional dancers from outside the European Union. It is a full scholarship, awarded every second year to a non-European Union dancer. The school also offers student sponsorship. Sponsors receive progress reports, personal letters and invitations to performances where they dance.
The Lady Mollie Askin Ballet Travelling Scholarship
The Lady Mollie Askin Ballet Travelling Scholarship aims to advance cultural education among Australia’s outstanding ballet artists between 17 and 29 years of age. The award is open to Australian citizens and covers study, maintenance and travel within Australia or overseas. The Trust Company administers the scholarship, which is available every two years.
The School of American Ballet Scholarships
Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center has a range of scholarships to assist promising students with financial need. Some scholarships cover only tuition, while others also pay for room and board, transportation and academic high school tuition. These awards are for American students but also are available to foreign students in some cases. A scholarship award is conditional on the student not studying at any other school, not attending auditions and not accepting any amateur or professional performing engagements without the school’s official approval. A character reference from a previous school principal or teacher is mandatory for every first-time scholarship recipient. The SAB requires a student receiving subsidized academic tuition to maintain an excellent attendance record, good behavior and satisfactory grades.
Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.