Scholarships & Auditions


More than 50% of ADF Summer Dance Intensive students receive some form of financial assistance. All scholarship recipients assist with operational and administrative work at the festival. Students dependent on a scholarship to attend the ADF School are urged to apply early and explore multiple avenues of financial assistance in addition to ADF’s scholarship offerings. Click here for ADF’s “Self-Help Guide to Financial Assistance.”

Important Dates- 2018 TBD

April 1: Scholarship materials due, including video audition submissions. Late materials and incomplete applications will not be considered!
April 17: Scholarship award notifications sent via email.

Submitting Scholarship Documents

Students may only submit scholarship application materials by mail or email. Include your full name, name of scholarship, and the summer program you are applying for on all scholarship documents. 

ADF is not responsible for mail/email that is delayed or lost in transit. Applicants are strongly encouraged to call the ADF office to verify receipt of application materials at least 2 weeks prior to deadlines. Photos of documents will not be accepted.


Footprints_Auditions_018Tuition scholarships are offered to promising students who demonstrate a high level of technical and creative ability or potential, as well as financial need.


  • Scholarship amounts range from $200 to full tuition.
  • All tuition scholarship students work an average of six hours per week around their class schedule to help with the running of the festival.      
  • Tuition scholarship students are responsible for their tuition balance, room, board, and travel to and from Durham, NC

How to apply for a tuition scholarship

  1. Submit a video audition. Details for the video audition process for 2018 TBD. 
  2. Submit a Summer Dance Intensive application with $40 application fee.

  3. Submit a copy of your or your parents’ 2017 Tax Form 1040 (first page only).  

VIDEO AUDITION- details subject to change

Students unable to attend a live audition may submit a DVD or online video link. Your video should highlight your strengths and interests as a dance artist. Highlight your primary interest(s) in your video, whether it be performance, choreography, improvisation, or something else.  Please discuss your interests in your video self-interview.  

Video must include:
  • 2 minutes of modern technique, demonstrating your ability to negotiate alignment while moving, move through space, dynamically shape movement material, and embody a range of movement qualities, levels, and speeds. Please be sure to include floor work, exercises for spine and torso, legwork, traveling material, and a short phrase with qualitative shifts and dynamic range.  
  • 1-minute solo, either choreographed or improvised. Indicate whether you choreographed your solo or someone else did. If you are improvising, please let us know that and include any scores or structures you are working within your improvisation. 
  • 2-minute “self-interview” in which you discuss what is most exciting to you as a dance artist, your long-term goals and interests in the dance world, and how you believe ADF will positively supplement your regular/year-round training. 

Video creation guidelines:

  • Show exercises only on one side and perform them only once in their entirety.
  • Make your exercises full of a range of material. For instance, we’ll have more opportunity to see your range and skill if you substitute a traveling phrase of eight prances and four jumps while holding your arms to the side with a traveling phrase that features different kinds of small, medium, and large jumps layered with diverse arms or spinal curves and twists.  
  • Engage us instead of the mirror! Film in a mirror-free space or facing away from the mirror so that we can see you dancing for us instead of you watching yourself dance while you dance.  
  • Adhere to the time limits of each video section. If you make your exercises rich and do them only on one side, you’ll have plenty of time to get everything in!  

Video Submission Guidelines:

  • DVDs must be mailed to: ADF School, Box 90772, Durham, NC 27708
  • Online links must be emailed to Passwords must be provided for private links. 
  • Please label the DVD or online link clearly with your name and ADF program.
  • ADF will only accept 1 DVD or 1 video link per person.
  • Applicant should be the only person in the video, please do not send videos of the applicant in a class or performance with other dancers.


_GH29077The ADF offers staff assistant scholarships to mature and responsible students who have skills to help with the operation of the festival. Job assignments may include areas of administration, babysitting, production, box office, school operations, dance medicine, archives, and hospitality/events. Students will be assigned positions based on their experience and ADF needs. Staff assistants receive a full-tuition scholarship in exchange for working up to 20 hours a week during the festival. 


  • Staff assistants may take a full Intensive course load; however, a handful of staff assistant positions will preclude students from participating in repertory projects. Staff assistants may take WFSS classes only as their schedule permits.
  • Responsibilities include weekend and evening duties. 
  • Many positions require students to bring a car to the festival to use for work-related tasks. 
  • Staff assistants are responsible for all costs outside of tuition, including room, board, and travel to and from Durham, NC. 
  • Staff assistant positions are contingent on passing a criminal background check
  • Due to legal and insurance restrictions, most staff assistants must be at least 21 years old. 
  • Staff assistants will be asked to arrive on Monday, June 11, and depart on Tuesday, July 24.

Please submit the following to be considered for a staff assistant scholarship

  1. Summer Dance Intensive application with $40 application fee.

  2. Resumé highlighting experience pertinent to the staff assistant scholarship.

  3. Letter of recommendation directly addressing your candidacy for the staff assistant scholarship.

  4. Copy of your or your parents’ 2016 Tax form 1040 (first page only).


Daily bus transportation is needed to transport students to off-campus studios and to the theaters where performances are held. ADF bus drivers receive a full tuition scholarship in exchange for driving the ADF buses up to 20 hours per week.


  • Bus drivers must be 21 years old or older.
  • Bus drivers must either hold a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) or be willing to obtain one. If a student wants to obtain a CDL with ADF’s help, they must live in North Carolina and hold an NC drivers license. If the student lives outside of North Carolina, a CDL must be obtained on their own. 
  • Bus drivers may take a full 6WS course load. 
  • Bus drivers are responsible for all costs outside of tuition, including room, board, and travel to and from Durham, NC. 
  • Bus driver positions are contingent on passing a criminal background check. 
  • Bus Drivers will be asked to arrive on Monday, June 11, and depart on Tuesday, July 24.

Please submit the following to be considered for a bus driver scholarship

  1. Summer Dance Intensive application with $40 application fee.

  2. Copy of Commercial Drivers License or intent and plan to obtain a Commercial Drivers License. 


_GH22631Stagecraft apprenticeships are awarded to students with interest and experience in the technical aspects of dance production. Apprentices act as an integral part of the technical crew in the preparation and running of performances by the visiting companies. The work involved is strenuous and requires maturity and responsibility.

The ADF also seeks costume stagecraft apprentices. This apprenticeship is similar to the stagecraft apprenticeship; however, experience working in costume design and construction is required. Costume apprentices work with the ADF Costume Designer to design and construct costumes for the Footprints repertory pieces. Costume apprentices are extremely busy towards the end of the festival.


  • Apprentices receive a tuition scholarship for two morning classes and the apprenticeship itself, which counts as a double class for those receiving academic credit. 
  • The apprenticeship commits the student to afternoon and evening hours and precludes participation in repertory classes or pieces. 
  • All apprentices are responsible for all costs outside of tuition, including room, board, and travel to and from Durham, NC. 
  • Stagecraft and costume apprentice applicants must be over the age of 18. 
  • Stagecraft Apprentices are required to arrive on Thursday, June 7, and to stay until Thursday, July 26. Costume apprentices should arrive on Thursday, June 14 and depart on Tuesday, July 24.
  • Room and board costs will be covered for Stagecraft Apprentices only for the days worked prior to and after the Festival.

Please submit the following to be considered for a stagecraft or costume apprenticeship

  1. Summer Dance Intensive application with $40 application fee.

  2. Resumé highlighting experience pertinent to the stagecraft or costume apprentice position.

  3. Letter of recommendation directly addressing your candidacy for the stagecraft or costume apprentice position.

  4. Copy of your or your parents’ 2016 Tax form 1040 (first page only).
  5. Costume apprentice applicants must also provide a small portfolio of their work. This can be an online link.


_GH27832The ADF will match up to $500 from sponsoring organizations and businesses. Sponsorships may come from:

  • Dance Studio
  • College or University
  • High School
  • Arts Organization
  • Business or Corporation


  • Matching scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a limited number are available. 
  • Matching scholarships cannot be combined with any other ADF scholarships. 
  • ADF will only match a maximum amount of $500, but there is no limit for sponsorship award amounts. For example, your school’s dance department can award you $1,500 towards tuition, and ADF will match $500, bringing your total matching scholarship to $2,000. However, if your school only awarded $100, ADF would match $100, bringing your total matching scholarship to $200. 
  • Matching Scholarships may only be used to towards ADF tuition. 
  • Matching scholarship awards are contingent upon sponsorship agreement. Matching scholarships from ADF will not be allocated until the school office receives sponsorship agreement and funds. Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to their possible sponsors EARLY, before indicating interest in the matching scholarship to ADF. 

Please submit the following to be considered for a Matching Scholarship

  1. Summer Dance Intensive application with $40 application fee.

  2. The sponsoring organization will need to complete and submit a short application. Click here to download and print application. Applications may be submitted via:

Important information regarding scholarships

1.  Tax forms:

  • If you do not have the 2016 Tax form 1040 ready by the time you are auditioning or ready to send in your application, don’t fret! You can send it in to the ADF office later. Just make sure to submit it by April 1 or we will not be able to consider you for a scholarship.
  • If you are filing your own taxes but your parents still claim you on their taxes, you MUST submit your parents tax forms.
  • Please only submit the first page of the 1040, which lists the adjusted gross income and number of dependants.
  • Please feel free to cross out social security numbers on tax documents.

2. In addition to the tax forms, applicants are welcome to submit supplementary information to help the scholarship committee understand the full spectrum of the student’s financial need.  

3.  Students who are awarded scholarships will only be offered one type of scholarship. To increase the chances of receiving financial assistance from ADF, it is recommended that students apply for more than one scholarship. Please read all of the scholarship descriptions and submission material lists carefully, and remember that students applying for a staff assistant, bus driver, stagecraft and/or costume apprentice scholarship must submit a separate letter of recommendation and résumé for each. Students who apply for more than one scholarship need only submit the Summer Dance Intensive application and $40 application fee once. 

4. Only students who have submitted all required documents will be considered for a scholarship. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

5. Pursuant to Duke University policies, criminal background checks will be conducted on potential staff assistants and bus drivers. Students who do not pass the criminal background check will forfeit their scholarship.