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.
  • 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 and depart the Festival late.

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 include working in the following areas/departments:

  • Box office
  • Marketing/Merchandising
  • Drop in schedule/WFSS
  • Studios
  • Performances
  • Archives
  • Reception


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, and stagecraft and costume apprenticeships.

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 and are guaranteed class choices within their designated class-taking time blocks.

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 and are guaranteed class choices within their designated class-taking time blocks and location restrictions. Bus drivers must have a Commercial Drivers License by the time they arrive at ADF.

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 work-study 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.

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 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.

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 and may be required to miss class.