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adf: american dance festival offers scholarships to students

By Rosie Gaynor
ADF students in a Mark Dendy site-specific dance,  2009

We’ve got great summer programs for advanced dancers here in Seattle, in contemporary dance and ballet both.

However, the American Dance Festival in North Carolina just sent out a press release regarding scholarship auditions for its summer program, and I thought it would be good for students here to know about it. It’s for folks aged 16 and up. Strict Balanchine and Vaganova it’s not; think contemporary dance.

After a day of classes, you get to attend the festival performances for free. You also get to audition for emerging choreographers and, if you’re chosen, appear in their work. (Several of the ADF students working with Shen Wei years ago were invited to join the company he was just forming. His company is still performing, 10 years later. They opened ADF last year, they came to White Bird in Portland last fall… They are based in New York and tour to many countries.) One opportunity ADF students had last year was the chance to recreate a Laura Dern ballet. I saw rehearsal and was just blown away by the students’ abilities.
Mark Dendy set two interesting site-specific works on the students as well.

The scholarship does not include room and board, living expenses, or airfare. The closest audition city appears to be San Francisco, but you can send in a DVD rather than audition in person.

Below is ADF’s press release, verbatim:


Durham, N.C. – The American Dance Festival (ADF) will embark on a 14-city tour in
February to audition potential students for tuition scholarships for the 2010 ADF Six
Week School. The ADF School will occur in tandem with the ADF’s 77th season, to be
held from June 10 – July 24 in Durham, NC. Applications for the ADF School are
currently available online at

Tuition scholarships are offered to promising students who have a high level of technical ability and creative potential and who have experience in either performing or choreographing. The awards are based on both ability and financial need. In 2009, 46% of ADF School students were offered tuition scholarships. Award amounts range from $200 to $1,925 (full tuition). The scholarship does not cover room/board fees and living expenses during the Six Week School.

Students unable to attend an audition may submit a DVD containing two minutes of
technique and a one-and-a-half minute solo along with their application package. The
post-marked deadline for DVD submission is March 19, 2010.

Students should bring the following to each audition:
1. Completed Six Week School application with the accompanying $35
application fee.
2. A minute and a half solo (choreographed or improvised).
3. Copy of the students’ or the students’ parents’ 2009 Tax Form 1040 (the
first page only).

Auditions are currently scheduled for the cities listed below. Please visit for additional information.
Boston, MA
February 13

Urbana, IL
March 22

Erie, PA
February 21

Los Angeles, CA
March 27

Tempe, AZ
March 18

San Francisco, CA
March 28

Ogden, UT
March 19

Natchitoches, LA
April 10

Stevens Point, WI
March 19

New York, NY
April 11

Richmond, VA
March 21

Durham, NC
April 11

Athens, OH
March 22

Murfreesboro, TN
Date TBA

All audition dates are subject to change.

ADF representatives will also be in attendance at the International Association of Blacks in Dance Scholarship Audition and the National High School Dance Festival. Potential students must be enrolled in these festivals to participate in the scholarship auditions.
The ADF’s 77th season will be presented at the Durham Performing Arts Center and Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater from June 10 – July 24, 2010. Individuals may learn more about the Festival by becoming a fan on Facebook, following the ADF on Twitter, and by visiting

Founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont, the ADF remains an international magnet for choreographers,dancers, teachers, students, critics, musicians, and scholars to learn and create in a supportive environment. The ADF’s wide range of programs includes performances, artist services, humanities projects, publications,community outreach, educational programs and classes, archives, media projects, and national and international projects. The ADF has been presenting the best in modern dance for over 75 years.