School Buzz: NYCDA's Scholarship Program

NYCDA's Scholarship Program Grows

New York City Dance Alliance’s college scholarship program is growing by leaps and bounds. Two years ago, it began by offering $350,000 in scholarships to one college. This year, the competition plans to give away $1 million in scholarships to at least three colleges.

Nineteen-year-old Richard Villaverde of Miami, FL, received a full four-year scholarship to University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philadelphia in 2009. When Richard snagged the award, he had already been accepted into the Boston Conservatory but couldn’t afford to attend. “My dream was to go to college after high school and I couldn’t have done it without NYCDA and this program,” says Richard, currently a sophomore at UARTS.

Though NYCDA began the program through a partnership with UARTS, Marymount Manhattan and Point Park University have since joined the effort as well. Joe Lanteri, the executive director of NYCDA, says he expects to partner with even more schools in the future.

NYCDA also launched a new nonprofit organization called The New York City Dance Alliance Foundation so that student dancers can help increase the scholarship pool even more. Plus, according to Lanteri, students who help raise money for the campaign will be eligible for an extra shot at a scholarship! Want to get involved? For more information, visit —Colleen Bohen

Dancing to Conquer AIDS

Dancers from more than 10 studios in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will perform in the Stars of Tomorrow…Giving Back Today fundraiser at Purchase College this month. Dancers Responding to AIDS, a division of Broadway Cares, has been producing the event annually for the past eight years as part of its Dance Student Outreach Project. Proceeds are used to provide services for AIDS patients and support a variety of healthcare programs for performers.

This year’s show, taking place February 27, will feature a guest performance by the Chase Brock Experience. Additionally, Chase Brock (DS November 2009), the company’s artistic director, and Jon Bond, from Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, will teach master classes for the student performers earlier that day.

Students from all participating studios are required to sell tickets to help raise money for the cause. The dancers pay entrance fees for the master classes as a way to bring in additional funds. Last year’s event raised approximately $30,000, and DRA founding director Denise Roberts Hurlin expects to match or exceed that amount this year. Want to make your own contribution? Visit  —CB

Walnut Hill Hosts Male Dance Competition

High-school-aged male dancers are invited to enter for a chance to win a scholarship to the dance program at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Dancers have until February 15, 2011, to submit a 15-minute filmed audition, along with two dance photographs (see “Picture Perfect,” p. 52, for advice) and a completed application. Go to for more information.  —CB

Spring Artist Residencies at Goucher College

Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, welcomes prestigious guest artists to its dance department this month.

From February 4–13, a small cast from Goucher’s repertory ensemble will work with Zippora Karz, a former New York City Ballet soloist, on a new piece. Outside of the studio, Karz, who is also a diabetes spokesperson, will give a lecture about living—and dancing—with diabetes, and sign copies of her memoir, The Sugarless Plum.

From February 18–27, former Paul Taylor dancer Constance Dinapoli will restage the classic Taylor work Aureole on selected ensemble members in honor of Taylor’s 80th birthday. Additionally, Karz and Dinapoli will teach the department’s ballet and modern technique classes during their stays. Both guest artists’ pieces will be featured in Goucher’s Repertory Dance Ensemble Concert April 15–16.—Sarah Badger

Not sure which college dance program is right for you? Head to, the one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the college dance world. The site has up-to-date info on more than 600 college dance programs, plus application strategies and interactive forums. Check it out!

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?


Keep Reading Show less
Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos



Get Dance Spirit in your inbox