Work-Study Scholarship

work-study overview

Work-study position recipients receive partial (50%) or full-tuition scholarships in exchange for working between 10-20 hours a week during the festival. These positions are designed for mature and responsible students who have skills to help with the operations of the festival, want to be part of a team, and want to learn more about how the festival works. Job assignments include areas of administration, babysitting, production, box office, school operations, archives, and hospitality/events. Students will be assigned positions based on their skills, experience, and ADF needs. In addition to gaining experience through working at the festival, work-study students have the opportunity to create connections that can pave the way for future employment in the dance world. Work study students who demonstrate excellence in their work can request a letter of recommendation from their supervisor for use in the future.


  • Responsibilities include weekend and evening duties.
  • Many positions require students to bring a car to the festival to use for work-related tasks.
  • Work-study scholarship students are responsible for their tuition balance, room, board, and travel to and from Durham, NC.
  • Some work-study positions are contingent on passing a criminal background check.
  • Due to legal and insurance restrictions, most students eligible for these positions must be at least 21 years old.
  • Work-study scholarship students will be asked to arrive early (June 15) and depart the Festival late (July 27).

work-study application requirements

Please submit the following to be considered for a Work-Study Position:

  • Résumé: highlighting work experience pertinent to the work-study positions.
 We do not need to know your dance experience.
  • Letter of recommendation: directly addressing your candidacy for the work-study position. Letters of recommendation for these positions should reflect demonstration of specific skills applicable to these positions and/or your ability to effectively manage an ongoing workload, adhere to deadlines, work well in a team, receive feedback and adapt to supervisors’ expectations, and/or demonstrate strong, effective interpersonal communication skills. You will provide your recommender’s email address to facilitate this requirement.
  • Video self-interview: no longer than 2 minutes succinctly addressing the following prompts:
    • What are the three most important qualities and/or practices that you embody in order to build and sustain a productive team?
    • Describe a working situation that challenged you and how you worked through it.
  • Copy of your or your parents’ most recent Tax form 1040 (first page only). 
  • For stagecraft and costume apprentices, please upload media for your portfolio of your work or contact the School office for other material submission options.

How to apply:

  1. Complete your online application for the Summer Dance Intensive, pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee, and wait for your application to be accepted. 
  2. Once accepted, indicate your interest in applying for a work-study scholarship in your online application and complete the requirements.


Students receiving a partial tuition scholarship (50% of tuition) position may take a full Intensive course load (3 classes); however, a handful of positions will preclude students from participating in repertory projects (such as Footprints). Students may take drop-in WFSS classes only as their schedule permits.

Partial scholarship positions are detailed below, including department, requirements, restrictions, and descriptions:

Airport Driver

Department: School
Requires: Car, 21+
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: no footprints, may affect WFSS

The Airport Driver is our designated driver for airport pick-ups and drop-offs during the summer for faculty, Pre-Professional Dance Intensive students, VIPs, and more as needed. The student in this role must have a car and be a responsible and courteous driver as well as be reliable with logistics, timing, and communication. Mileage is reimbursed for all work-related driving (excludes drives from home to campus). This work will take place primarily on nights and weekends.

Box Office 
Department: Marketing
Requires: Car
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: No footprints

This work-study position should be prepared to assist the Marketing & Audience Services Assistant in all aspects of ticketing, box office and audience services for evening performances during the festival. This can include support in the box office, audience support in front-of-house, as well as helping the box office confirm, document and smoothly communicate with faculty and staff about comps. Must have excellent people skills as well as the ability solve problems cheerfully, all in a fast-paced environment. The ideal candidate is detail-oriented with a proven record of superior customer care. Evening and weekend work required.

Department: Marketing
Requires: Car
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: No footprints

The Merchandise work-study position will support the Merchandise Intern who manages the day-to-day operations of the ADF Main Store, located in the same building as our offices as well as the ADF Mobile Store at the Ruby, Durham School of the Arts, DPAC, The Carolina Theatre and all Duke University theaters. Alongside volunteers, this position may assist with inventory control, visual display and daily/weekly cash reports. Must be a detail-oriented self-starter, with mathematical proficiency and a creative eye for visual display. Experience with customer care and point-of-sales preferred. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel required. Evening and weekend work required.

Department: Performances
Requires: Must have a car and be comfortable using it for the role; must be 21+
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: No Footprints, affects WFSS

Performances is a fast-paced and exciting team, who manage and arrange all logistics of performing companies’ residency at ADF. The team is made up of the Performances Coordinator, two Performances Interns, and three work-study students. Performances is a fun and fast-paced team, and offers a great chance to learn about the logistics of working with performing artists and companies.

Work-study students will be responsible for helping transport visiting company members to and from the airport and between residency activities, using their personal vehicles as well as large passenger and cargo vans. Additionally, they will help with a variety of administrative tasks as required. Ideal candidates have great interpersonal skills and are reliable, mature, flexible, and comfortable working independently while remaining calm under pressure.

Hours and tasks will be varied and unpredictable. Evening and weekend hours will be required, including early mornings and late nights. This role will require a willingness to flexibly balance classes with work responsibilities, and on WFSS days work-study students can take classes only when not needed to support the rest of the Performances office team.

Reception – WFSS/Drop-In Schedule
Department: Administration
Requires: 21+
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: No Footprints or Faculty Concert, work occurs on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, affects ability to participate in WFSS classes

Students work alongside the Administrative Assistant and the Special Projects & Administration Intern. Responsibilities include general administrative support for a busy office, answering a very busy multi-line phone system, greeting office visitors, and assisting with the International Choreographers Residency (ICR) program and showcase. Must be organized and have strong interpersonal communication skills. Weekends required.

Department: Studios
Requires: Car
Allows: 3 classes
Restrictions: No Footprints

The Studios & Community work-study student will work with the Manager of Studio Programming and Community Engagement to facilitate summer operations of the year-round studio operated by ADF, including classes, camps, workshops, community outreach, and space reservations. Primary responsibilities will include studio supervision on weekends, assisting renters and running class check-in, light cleaning, locking and unlocking the building. Additional responsibilities include attending and tabling for community outreach events as needed, and occasional off-site event or class registration. Ideal work-study student works well independently, is detail-oriented, dependable, and adaptable, with strong interpersonal communication skills. Previous work with children preferred. Evening and weekend work required.

WFSS/Drop-In Schedule
Department: School
Allows: 3 classes, repertory
Restrictions: No Footprints or Faculty Concert, work occurs on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, affects ability to participate in WFSS classes

The WFSS/Drop-In Schedule work-study students are responsible for assisting guest faculty with their classes (meeting them, helping during class as needed, etc.), checking in students for master classes, tracking attendance for all classes, distribute WFSS schedules around campus, and assist with any other schedule needs that arise as needed. The two students will need to be available on all WFSS days to cover needs. 


Students receiving full tuition scholarship (100% of tuition) positions may take only two classes and will be able to participate in repertory projects (except Footprints) depending on our needs. These positions include babysitters, bus drivers, Memory for Movement assistants, school operations/festival services, reception, and stagecraft and costume apprenticeships.

Playroom Babysitters
Department: School
Allows: 2 classes – the times of which are determined closer to arrival.
Restrictions: No footprints

In order for our faculty to come to Durham every summer, they sometimes need to bring their family. Babysitters play an integral role in helping faculty, musicians, and staff fulfill their important roles during the festival by providing childcare during classes and performances. ADF babysitters receive a full-tuition scholarship in exchange for providing childcare up to 20 hours a week.

There are multiple positions for babysitters to staff a fully stocked playroom during class times. There are two students in the playroom per class block overseeing the child’s care. One babysitter is responsible for watching children as needed on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For certain ADF events for faculty, we may ask babysitters to go to the faculty’s home, but these situations will be known ahead of time. Faculty have the option to ask babysitters to watch their children for performances or other events, but are responsible for compensation for those situations.

Executive Director Babysitters 
Department: Executive Director
Requires: Car
Allows: 3 classes, repertory

These babysitters will be responsible for watching the Executive Director’s children during performances or special events, primarily on nights and weekends. These students must be able to provide their own transportation and may be expected to work up to 20 hours a week.

Bus Drivers
Department: School
Requires: Commercial Driver’s License
Restrictions: none

Daily bus transportation is needed to transport students 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 have a Commercial Drivers License by the time they arrive at ADF. Please contact the ADF School for help obtaining a CDL. ADF covers all DMV fees associated with obtaining the license. If you live in the NC Triangle area, we can help train you and provide buses.

Costume Apprentice
Department: Performances/School
100% tuition scholarship
Requires: Costume construction experience
Allows: 2 morning classes
Hours: Mon-Fri 1-5p, some nights and weekends as needed (particularly during the last week of the festival)

Costume apprentices work with the ADF Costume Designer to construct costumes for the Footprints​ repertory pieces. The costume apprenticeship requires experience working in costume construction and/or wardrobe in a professional or university setting. Strong home sewing or cosplay sewing skills may be considered as well. Due to the nature and quantity of work, apprentices are unable to audition for or perform in showings that conflict with shop hours. All applicants are required to talk to the Costume Designer before being offered the position.

Duties will include:

  • Stitching, altering and mending costumes
  • Attending assigned fittings
  • Attending assigned technical rehearsals, designer runs, and dress rehearsals
  • Assisting costume management by producing and organizing paperwork
  • Serving as wardrobe crew for ​Footprints​ performances, including laundry and repairs as needed
  • Other opportunities and duties may be assigned dependent on the skill level of the apprentice.

Additional Materials Requested: ​With the initial application, please submit at least 10 images of previous costume work that include examples of costume construction, dyeing/painting, and/or other costume craft or wardrobe work. If experienced in design, production photos and renderings from previous costume design projects may also be included.

Memory for Movement Assistants 
Department: Memory for Movement
Allows: 2 classes- exact schedule to be determined upon arrival, Faculty Concert
Restrictions: No footprints or repertory

Memory for Movement Project
Memory for Movement (M4M) is a research and teaching project. It studies dancers (how they learn, remember, and perform movement), dance instructors (how they can facilitate learning and memory), audiences (how they perceive, remember, and appreciate dance), and professional companies (how they choreograph, reconstruct, and learn pieces; how they give notes to each other). We use a variety of methods to study cognitive aspects of dance, including laboratory experiments, surveys, classroom observation, and structured interviews. Opportunities for ADF students include the classroom observation project and laboratory experiments. For more information, contact Professor Ruth Day (, on the faculty at Duke University and the Cognitive-Scientist-in-Residence at ADF.

School Operations/Festival Services 
Department: School
Requires: must have car, 21+, physical labor, including lifting
Allows: 2 classes, to be determined upon arrival
Restrictions: no Footprints

The School Operations office oversees the management of all studio, transportation, equipment, and technical needs for the ADF community. Work-study students will assist in studio upkeep, equipment distribution, and physical responsibilities including set-up, execution, and break down of production/technical needs for all school-related events and driving a 12-passenger van. These students must be comfortable with a fair amount of daily physical labor. The Festival Services office focuses on-campus services, hospitality and events for staff, students and faculty across all programs in the Festival. The work-study student in this position will assist with all events and contribute to the administration of the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive as needed. Must be 21 or older.

Stagecraft Apprentices 
Department: Production
Requires: experience in production
Allows: 2 classes
Restrictions: No footprints, repertory

Stagecraft 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. You should expect to be busy everyday from 8:00am-11:00pm, including weekends. All applicants are required to talk to the Production Manager before being offered the position.