Last month, the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation presented a special program at the Joyce Theater in New York. Remarkably poised students had the opportunity share the stage with professionals from exciting drivers of choreographic innovation like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Keigwin + Company, and Intermezzo Dance Company, as well as with soloists/choreographers Peter Chu and Andy Pellick. The performances were stunning. Andonis Foniadakis’ Horizons, performed by Cedar Lake, was especially mesmerizing (you can watch video clips of the piece here), but the greatest emotional impact of the evening by far came from the electric sense of potential the Foundation helps students fulfill.
The NYCDA Foundation offers talented young dancers scholarships to pursue their training and education at the college level. The scholarships, valued from $5,000 to $25,000, are given to dancers to use toward tuition at the college of their choice and represent life-changing opportunities. “Since 2010, more than 200 dancers have received over $12.5 million in college scholarships awarded through NYCDAF,” says Founder and Executive Director Joe Lanteri. “Together, we are truly making a difference.” Recipients and their families movingly agreed—scholarships totaling $136,000 were presented to elated students at the end of the evening to thunderous applause and more than a few tears.
During a Q&A following the performance and awards portions of the program, choreographer Larry Keigwin articulated why college is such an important experience for young artists: “Community is SO important.” Students from NYC institutions including The Juilliard School and New York University agreed, explaining how their time in college helped them to discover, play with, and grow their artistic identities and make connections that ultimately led to dream jobs.
The next scholarship auditions will be held July 2. For more info and to apply, click here.