BDNY Scholarship

At Blues Dance New York, we are excited to share the love of blues and blues dancing with everyone who wants to join. One of our favorite things to do is attend the phenomenal blues dance events that happen all over the world: these events have transformed the lives of many of our community members, especially many of our staff members who share their love of this dance every week at Friday Night Blues. However, we understand that life circumstances may make it difficult for people to travel to blues dance events in other cities. Therefore, we are thrilled to have instituted a scholarship program to help further the development and love of this dance for people who would not otherwise be able to attend events.

Why is this so important to us? #fortheloveofblues, of course! If you’re still not convinced, check out these Personal Statements from previous scholarship recipients:

2017: Anna Zagerson (attended Snowbound Blues in Rochester, NY)

2018: Valerie Pinilla (attended Sweet Molasses Blues in Boston, MA)

2018: Manu Sharma (attended Blues Muse in Philadelphia, PA)

For 2019, Blues Dance New York will be providing scholarships to attendees of NYC’s own Express Track Blues! Per ETB’s Mission Statement, one of our goals is to help break down barriers to blues dancing. One of those barriers is financial need. Therefore, we are offering $500 in scholarship money for any out-of-towners who wish to attend this event. This stipend may be given to one individual, or it might be split across multiple dancers in order to help as many people as possible. Any dancer who receives all or part of this money will also be offered a full weekend pass to ETB.

The purpose of this scholarship program is to provide funding for dancers to attend regional blues dance events. Our goal for the scholarship program is to encourage continued learning and development for dancers who might not otherwise have the means to attend. Newcomers to blues (< 2 years) are particularly encouraged to apply. Since ETB is an NYC-based event, this scholarship is also open to dancers traveling from other cities!

Never been to an exchange before? Take a peek at this Q&A that we put together, and feel free to reach out with any questions!

Scholarship Details

Each scholarship includes one full weekend pass and a stipend to be used for travel and/or meal costs while attending the event. The recipient may use the stipend for other travel expenses if they find a ride share. Additionally, recipients will have spots on the list for the housing program. The final responsibility for travel costs beyond the stipend lies with the recipient; additional funds will not be available for cost overruns.

In addition to your Personal Statement, you may also submit a letter of recommendation from an organizer in a scene that you are closely affiliated with.

All 2019 recipients are expected to attend classes, and will be required to work a minimum of 4 volunteer hours (not to take place during classes).

After event attendance we will ask the recipients to write a short essay about their experience and provide a photo. We would love to share your experience with the rest of the community, and it will help publicize the next scholarship we offer!

Selection Process and Eligibility

Scholarships will be awarded based on the recipients’ personal statement in the application as reviewed by a small committee of BDNY staff. See important dates below. Applicants must be at least 18 years old; BDNY staff and prior scholarship recipients are ineligible. Although none of the criteria below are specifically required, in selecting a recipient we will prioritize candidates who:

  • Would be unable to attend without financial assistance
  • Contribute to the diversity of our dance community
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continued development as a Blues dancer
  • Are active in their home scene
  • Have never attended an exchange outside of their home scene

Important Dates

June 30: Application deadline, midnight
July 15: Recipient notified
September 27-29: Express Track Blues!
October 15: Essay and photograph due

Fine Print

If a change in circumstances prevents the scholarship recipient attending, they are to notify BDNY as soon as possible so that other arrangements can be made, including transfer of scholarship to another recipient.

We will be publicly sharing the name of the scholarship recipient(s). After the recipient(s) attends the event, we will ask for a short written statement and a picture so that we can share your experience with the rest of our community.

Scholarship Fund

If you are interested in contributing to this scholarship fund so we can help more people attend more dance events, please contact info@bluesdancenewyork.com.


Now that you’ve read through all of the pertinent information, fill out the application form below!