Dance activities are often not taken seriously as a sport and, consequently, must find funding to make up the lack of funds they receive from schools or communities. Grants provide funds for dance teams to create innovative routines and purchase uniforms. Other grants pay the initial costs for dance classes or participation on a dance team for kids who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
Artistic Dance Grants
For artistic dance teams, the National Endowment for the Arts offers grants for concert dance programs and creative dance teams. Through the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, dance teams that involve youth in under-served communities and celebrate youth creativity are eligible to apply for $10,000 in grant money. The New England Foundation for the Arts offers $25,000 to $40,000 for dance teams and companies to develop new works and tour.
Uniforms are expensive, but help dance teams look professional and unified. Grants provide uniforms for teams that cannot afford them. The Pop Warner football program, offered in 42 states through the U.S., offers $500 grants for dance and cheerleading teams associated with the Pop Warner league. Grants are awarded in the form of a voucher for Team Cheer uniforms and applicants must show how the grant will improve the organization. The Sparkle Effect Inc. awards grants of up to $500 to new and existing Sparkle Effect dance and cheerleading squads, which include students with disabilities. In addition to the $500 grant, recipients receive a matching grant from Varsity Spirit Fashions and 20 percent off uniform orders. Schools across the United States are eligible to start their own Sparkle Effect squad and apply for the grant.
Dance Class Grants
For children who otherwise could not afford to participate on a dance team or participate in dance classes, grants are available. Our Military Kids provides grants for children with parents on active duty in the U.S. Military to participate in extracurricular activities, including dance. The Jill E. Harrington Hanzalik Memorial Fund offers a Dream Chaser Grant to help children fulfill their dreams, including participating on a dance team. Dream Team Grants are available through the same fund to help community groups with dance teams and other youth programs.
Through its "making a difference" initiative, the United Cheer & Dance Foundation provides grants twice a year to help members of UCDF teams who are facing financial hardship for any reason. The number of awards given and award amounts varies based upon the number of applications received and individual need.
Stacy Zeiger began writing in 2000 for "Suburban News Publication" in Ohio and has expanded to teaching writing as an eighth grade English teacher. Zeiger completed creative writing course work at Miami University and holds a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in secondary education from Ohio State.