Dance Program

Equity Scholarships

The Joan Myers Brown
Equity Scholarship Fund

The Fund's Namesake

Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) in 1970, and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960, legendary artist and visionary Joan Myers Brown is the namesake of our scholarship program. In addition to her own companies, she serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991.

In recognition of her myriad accomplishments and awards throughout her more than seven decades in dance, Francisco Gella Dance Works announced the re-naming of the scholarship fund during the month of Ms. Brown’s ninetieth birthday in December 2021. Founding FGDW Artistic Director Francisco Gella danced for PHILADANCO under Ms. Brown’s leadership from 1998 to 2002.

Francisco describes the time he spent at PHILADANCO as profound due to Brown’s influence: “My artistic development and the life lessons I learned while dancing with the company and the mentorship of Joan Myers Brown shaped me in so many ways and continue to positively influence me personally and professionally to this day,” says Gella.


In addition to the awards granted as part of the named scholarship fund, Francisco Gella Dance Works also offers two special full scholarships annually to any of our programs (except the Preprofessional Dance Institute). These are named the Joan Myers Brown Emergence Scholarships and will be awarded to black dancers at the International Association of Blacks in Dance scholarship and company auditions held each year during the month of January. (See more information on this in the Eligibility section further down the page.)

Through the Joan Myers Brown Equity Scholarship Fund and the Joan Myers Brown Emergence Scholarships, we pledge to do our part to continue Ms.Brown’s legacy of opening up access and promoting equity for those historically excluded from dance and those who still face barriers. Today and always, we celebrate Joan Myers Brown; an unforgettable, incredible, iconic, influential, and trailblazing Black woman who has transformed the lives of many.

You can read the full biography of Joan Myers Brown here.

The Purpose of the Fund

The Joan Myers Brown Equity Scholarship Fund is based on the belief that when given an opportunity to learn and do what they love, every student with motivation can succeed. Therefore every student deserves at least one chance to try. But we are fully aware that not every student has the financial means or support to participate in training and educational dance programs that will give them access to the information they need in pursuit of their goals. To level the playing field of opportunity and identify talent, Francisco Gella Dance Works offers financial support through full and partial tuition scholarships to eligible applicants for all of its intensives and workshops.


Too often, only students already attending intensives and conventions, and who can afford to be ‘seen’ and recognized are the ones to benefit from the very opportunities that propel dancers into the best schools, colleges, and jobs. Those who can afford to attend dance training programs are frequently the ones who benefit the most. The Joan Myers Brown Equity Scholarship Fund is our organization’s effort to decrease the likelihood that inherent bias will keep any talented and hard-working student from accessing resources to achieve what is possible for themselves.


To achieve our organizational goals of access to opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds and experiences, the scholarship program is an inclusive and open process. This allows our faculty and staff to identify students who may otherwise be overlooked. Applications are evaluated equally on both merit (achievement and potential for success) and demonstrated financial need.

Eligibility

Scholarship Decisions Are Based on a Combined Evaluation of Financial Need as Well as the Demonstrated Potential for Success as a Future Professional Dancer

For Application to the Joan Myers Brown Equity Fund:

Scholarship decisions are based on a combined evaluation of financial need as well as the demonstrated potential for success as a future professional dancer.

For Application to the Joan Myers Brown Emergence Scholarships:

These two full scholarships will be awarded annually to two Black or Brown dancers who are citizens of the United States ages 12-22. Dancers should use the online application and indicate you are applying for the Emergence Scholarship.

For Application to the Joan Myers Brown Equity Fund:

For Application to the Joan Myers Brown Emergence Scholarships:

Scholarship decisions are based on a combined evaluation of financial need as well as the demonstrated potential for success as a future professional dancer.

These two full scholarships will be awarded annually to two Black or Brown dancers who are citizens of the United States ages 12-22. Dancers should use the online application and indicate you are applying for the Emergence Scholarship.

Applicants for Both the Equity Fund and the Emergence Scholarships Must Meet the Additional Following Criteria:

1

All applicants must be between the age of 7 and 22 years old at the time of application. Keep in mind that the eligibility requirement for the Emergence Scholarship is 12-22.

2

All applicants must be an intermediate or advanced dancer. This means that a dancer has had at least two years of consistent technical training and takes a minimum of three hours of ballet per week.

Submission Requirements

A Video of the Applicant Showing Their
Technique in Class or a Solo Performance

A video showing work at the ballet barre or across the floor is preferred. The ballet class video should show the student in proper form-fitting ballet attire and must be shot with the video focused close-up on the student applicant. Ideally, the class video will be shot when the student is taking a private lesson.

As a less-desired alternative, you may submit a solo. Ideally, the solo should showcase the student’s technique through their movement. This will allow the scholarship selection committee to evaluate both the training itself and the execution of their training. The committee is evaluating the artistic capacity and potential of the student.

The technique video or solo must be no more than one year from the date of application. If the student has shown significant improvement in the months leading up to applying, it will benefit the dancer’s chances of receiving a scholarship if they submit a more recent video.

A Personal Essay
From the Student

If the student is young, the parent may help the student write the statement but it should still reflect the dancer’s ideas.

The statement should address the following three questions:

  • How has dance enriched my life? 
  • What do I hope to learn as a result of receiving this scholarship?
  • What will my participation contribute to the other students’ experience who will be attending the program I hope to attend?

A Letter of Financial Need Written
by a Parent or Guardian

This letter should provide detail on the circumstances for why the scholarship support is needed and why financial hardship would keep you from attending without it. The written documentation needs to be supported by facts, and if needed by a reference who can vouch for your stated financial need.

A Letter of Support From a Current
Teacher or Director

The individual that provides the recommendation must be able to provide detail on the student’s current ability level, aptitude for learning, performance in class, potential for success, and individual motivation to succeed.

Application Deadlines

Priority will be given to students applying by the Early Summer and Early Fall Deadlines, therefore applicants are encouraged to meet the early deadlines to increase their chances of receiving a scholarship award. Scholarships awarded for those applying by the late deadline are dependent on available funds. Decisions will not be made until after each deadline has passed.

Those selected will receive tuition awards ranging from 25% – 100%. If you receive a full scholarship, we do require a non-refundable deposit of $95 to claim and this will go towards your program expenses. For partial scholarship awards, the non-refundable deposit will be applied to your partial balance due.

Applicants submitting by the Spring and Fall Early Deadline will be notified of scholarship decisions within three weeks following the early deadline. Applicants submitting by the Spring and Fall Late Deadline will be notified of scholarship decisions within two weeks following the late deadline.

Joan Myers Brown Emergence Scholarship Deadline

3/1

Submit by this date to be considered for the two scholarships being awarded to any of our summer or fall programs including Ballet+, New Century Dance Project, Seattle Dance Advance, or New Year’s Training Camp.

Joan Myers Brown Equity Scholarship Deadline

1. Summer Programs Scholarship Deadlines

Eligible Programs:
Ballet+ and New Century Dance Project

2/15

Early Deadline for Summer Programs

1st round review and priority in awarding scholarships

4/30

Late Deadline for Summer Programs

2nd round review and awarded from any remaining scholarship funds

2. Fall Programs Deadlines

Eligible Programs:
Seattle Dance Advance, New Year’s Training Camp, and College Prep Workshops

9/15

Early Deadline for Fall Programs

1st round review and priority in awarding scholarships

11/1

Late Deadline for Fall Programs

2nd round review and awarded from any remaining scholarship funds

Please note that all scholarship applications for the Preprofessional Dancer Institute (PDI) are awarded through a separate process, and are only available through the PDI website

Apply Now

Scholarships are competitive and available for especially deserving dancers. Scholarships will be awarded according to the combined consideration of both merit and financial need. To apply for a scholarship, complete the application below. 

Please Note that you cannot save an application in process!

Before beginning your application:

1

Be sure to review the entire application and note what is required before you begin.

2

Collect all of your information and document files prior to attempting to complete the application online.

3

When you are ready, be sure you have enough time to complete the entire application at once.

4

Plan ahead because you cannot begin the submission and return later to complete the application.

If you have any questions or need support with your application, please contact us by using the chatbox on this page or email us at scholarships@franciscogelladance.com and we will do our best to address your questions in a timely manner.

Scholarship Application

Applicant Contact Information / Registration

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Mailing Address*
Provide number of parent/guardian if applicant is under 18.
Indicate Mobile Phone User**
Student Email Address**
If the applicant does not have an email address, they can enter the email of a parent/guardian
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Gender*
Please press 'ctrl +' to select as many as apply

Which Program Are You Requesting a Scholarship?


Please note that you must submit a scholarship application for EACH program in which you are applying for funding. While many of your submission materials may be applicable to more than one scholarship request - each program needs its own application. As you will very likely not be awarded scholarships for every program you apply for, you are encouraged to pick the one (or at the most, two) you’d most like to attend. Thank you for understanding.

* You can only apply for one program at a time. Please complete another application if you'd like to be considered for a scholarship for an additional program.

Dancer Profile


Dancer Portfolio


A short personal statement explaining what you hope to gain from this program:
  1. How has dance enriched my life?
  2. What do I hope to learn as a result of receiving this scholarship?
  3. How will my participation contribute to the other students’ experience who will be attending the program
The statement must be no longer than 1 page double-spaced with 1 inch margins and 12 point font.

Only PDF file types can be uploaded

Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 300 MB.
A statement of financial need from a parent or a guardian. This must provide convincing evidence that the student has a genuine financial need. You may include additional supporting evidence.

Only PDF file types can be uploaded

Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 300 MB.
A letter of support from a teacher. The letter should provide evidence of the student’s aptitude for dance, evaluation motivation and work ethic, and potential for future career success. Please include on the letter the reference's contact info: First, Last, Street Address, City, State, Zip (foreign references?), Work Phone, Mobile Phone, Email Address).
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 300 MB.
A statement of financial need from a parent or a guardian. This must provide convincing evidence that the student has a genuine financial need. You may include additional supporting evidence. Please upload a recent professional headshot in color (must be at least 300 dpi and less than 1MB). This should not be a photo of you in a dance pose. Must be a headshot.

Only .jpg, .pdf or .png types can be uploaded

Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, pdf, png, Max. file size: 300 MB.
Upload a video of you performing classical, modern, or contemporary solo. The work may be on stage or in the studio. Your solo or classical variation should be 1–3 minutes long and show you in training clothes or a costume that allows us to see your lines cleanly. Please use a solo or variation that is from the past 12 months.

Only complete links to Vimeo or YouTube will be viewed.

Please provide a password, if we must enter one in order to review your merit video. Please note, that if we cannot review your video in time, we may not be able to consider your scholarship request.

E-Signatures


Parental / Guardian Consent

If the applicant is under 18 years of age, parental or guardian consent is required. Please print your name and provide your contact information, so we can include you on the communication about the scholarship process.

Scholarship Submission


DO NOT SUBMIT WITHOUT ENSURING ALL REQUIREMENTS ARE COMPLETED.

Before submitting your application, review what is required. Then collect all of your information and document files. Once you have done so, return to complete the entire application at one time. Please plan for this since you cannot begin the submission and return later to complete the application.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.