Dance Scholarships

You may qualify for a Saint Mary’s Performing Arts Scholarship in Dance, Music or Theatre. Each year Saint Mary’s offers up to $13,000 in tuition­ remission scholarships for demonstrated artistic excellence. Performing Arts will also award two full-tuition scholarships for combined academic excellence and excellence in the Performing Arts. These merit­-based awards are available only to incoming first-year students, and are renewable for four years. New this year is a four-year, full-tuition scholarship which can be combined with financial aid to include books, room & board. This East Bay Performing Arts Scholarship for Black Students or Students of African Descent will be awarded once every four years. ALL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE SCHOLARSHIP RESULTS BY FEBRUARY 28, 2021.  Students must apply to Saint Mary's College by January 15

January 2021 will be 100% virtual for Dance Scholarship auditions. This is to give all students the opportunity to attend and provide equity in the process. All applications for the Dance Scholarship must be submitted by January 15, 2021, and you must apply to the college by January 15. You also must be accepted to the College before you can audition on January 23, 2021. 

The audition is in three parts: 

  1. Choreography: Choreograph a solo in any dance genre that highlights your love for dance. Create a title that captures your concept. Choose music without lyrics or words. Let your movement support your concept. Allow your passion for dance and your chosen style to speak for who you are as a dancer. This solo is 1-2 minutes long. Please send a link or the file to Professor Cathy Davalos by January 15, 2021. Her email is  It does not have to be a fancy recording; we understand that some of us are dancing in our homes. You may use your phone to capture your work in any space. The solo must be choreographed by you. There is no costume requirement. 

  2. Interview: All applicants will be interviewed by the Performing Arts Department. Members of the dance faculty and Saint Mary’s College Dance Company will meet with you in a one hour session. During that time you will have the opportunity to talk to fellow dancers in our program and also those you might be dancing with in your first year. Each student will then move to a breakout room to have a personal interview with the faculty in which we will ask you some questions about your dancing and what you plan to do in college. The interviews will be held sometime between Jan. 16-30, 2021. 

  3. Dance class: The scholarship auditions will include a virtual dance class taught by several dance faculty on January 23 from 10:00am-12:00pm.  We will need to see your whole body when dancing so please place your camera accordingly. You will need an open space of about 10x10 feet. We will not be jumping, but a smooth surface is important. The dance class will consist of a warm-up and then movement sequences in ballet, modern and contemporary dance. We will also do a structured improvisation. One-two sections of movement class will be sent to you ahead of time so that you can prepare for the movement on your own time and also have the opportunity to break it down with the faculty members in real time. This is also in case you have any internet issues during the audition. We will take a short break for lunch and then reconvene 1-3 pm so that you can meet the faculty, each other, and students in the Saint Mary’s College Dance Company. We look for the dancer with a passion to move; do not worry if you have never had a modern dance class. The dance program values diversity.

To maintain scholarship eligibility you must:

  • Major or minor in dance;
  • be a full time student;
  • remain in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.7 (B-);
  • enroll in Dance Company movement classes five days a week and lecture courses required of the major or minor each semester;
  • audition for at least two pieces per semester with the Saint Mary's College Dance Company; if not chosen, serve on the concert technical crew;
  • serve the department as a model citizen;
  • place the Saint Mary's College Dance Company as your first priority when performing for other campus groups. Scholarship students must have the permission of the Director of Dance to audition for other dance groups on- and off-campus. 

Apply for an audition here.

Audition Applications opened in October of 2020 for Fall of 2021 Admissions.

For further information or to schedule an audition contact Professor Cathy Davalos, (925) 631-4824 or