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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Looking for Scholarship


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This question is mainly for the moderators, but I'd appreciate input from anyone in the know about this. I have three children, the youngest being a nine-year-old daughter who loves ballet and wants to be a professional dancer when she grows up. I have been told by two teachers at her reputable, pre-pro school that she has a very nice potential in ballet. The problem is that we are finding it very difficult to afford her training, and each year the cost goes up. We are paying college tuition for our eldest and all the other expenses for activities and necessities that having three children entails. We homeschool out of necessity, having a child with extensive learning disabilities; therefore, must get by on one income. The academy where our dd is currently training doesn't give scholarships for children my daughter's age. I have already asked! They must think I'm a nut case! Anyway, I was thinking of taking her to audition early next year at three other reputable academies in our area to see if they might offer her a scholarship. Would it be terribly rude to state on the audition form that my dd would not be able to attend their school without a scholarship? It would be the simple truth. If they cannot offer her a scholarship, we'll just continue to tough it out where we are. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

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Not sure if you did this, but I first research the school to see the criteria for scholarships. Some school only has financial scholarships, others on Merit. (Or both) Or if they do not public advertizes this, have they given out any. Once you know you are not wasting you time, go the school, have your child audition, see if they are interested, then discuss your needs. Most schools are likely to give you a scholarship if they are interested in your child, and feel you are uniquely interested in them as well. They are likely to help you if you are behind your child training. If the approaches is give or forget it, IMO does not work well. This approach in life works when the other person need is greater then yours.


If the current school does not offer scholarships, and the other schools do, it may take a year of admission to get potential funds. If this situation would not cost you more, it could be another avenue to consider.


You may begin to visit these schools this year, show your interest, and explain she coming next year to audition. If a teacher recommended this school, tell them.

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Most schools are likely to give you a scholarship if they are interested in your child, and feel you are uniquely interested in them as well.


Thank you, mirabray, this makes perfect sense. I think I will follow your advice.

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  • Administrators

I totally agree, mirabray. Do not tell them upfront that you need a scholarship. Wait until they express great interest in having your child in their program!

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Why not offer services to your school. Ask if you can work the desk, costumes, or give of your time in exchange for tuition. Then it does not appear you are looking for a hand out but willing to work it off.

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I agree with Memo...


I would call around and ask if they off "Work / Study" scholarships. Let them know that your dd has a love of ballet, but finances do not allow you to pay much for classes. Have a $# you can pay already figured out (some places ask, some don't and just offer a full trade) and offer your TIME in exchange for classes.


Be prepared for whatever they toss your way. At our first school we did the floors every weekend and helped out with building maintenance. At our current studio I work as the Costume Mistress (which is a lot more fun than floors, but definitely a LOT of work. lol)

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Yes, do all of the above. However, do not be surprised if in the new studios who are not familiar with you, your dancer's work ethic, or history if they do limit those work/study type positions to people who they know as current students and have a track record with. That is not to discourage you from trying, but just to have you informed so you are not disappointed.


I especially agree with Ms. Leigh and mirabray that the audition should come before the request but do all the research you can prior to that. We have to remember that at age 9, a host of students are showing equalled potential.

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What about other sources of scholarship aid (outside of the school)? My dd has been fortunate to receive scholarships from some non-dance entities -- our state gifted association for one. Check with the principal or counsellor at her school -- sometimes there is money earmarked for arts studies. Does your school's PTA have a scholarship program? What about Elks, Rotary, Kiwanas...other service organizations often look favorably on arts education. (Then maybe you wouldn't need to switch her school, if you are pleased with her current studio.)

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