Broadway Dance Center (BDC) is one of the leading dance studios in the United States. BDC currently offers over 350 weekly classes in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, yoga and more. It was founded nearly 35 years ago in 1984, by a dancer and businessman by the name of Richard Ellner. Although a life-long lover of the performing arts, Ellner didn’t actually take his first dance class until he was 52. But he quickly began expanding his breadth of training with teachers throughout New York City. An avid entrepreneur, Ellner envisioned a home for dance in the heart of New York City where dancers could get diversified training from the best in the business all at one convenient location. All dance styles would be taught to the entire community of dancers — from recreational to professional. Teachers would be encouraged to express their personal teaching style and choreography. And the center would serve as a model for performing arts studios across the country.
Besides continuing to carry on Ellner’s legacy with the institution itself, BDC recently announced it will offer the Richard Ellner Scholarships to students of the Professional Semester Program. The scholarships will cover half and full tuition costs for two incoming Professional Semester students. BDC’s Professional Semester is a full-time four-month-long program for pre-professional dancers. After a week of orientation, placement auditions and introductory seminars, students take 12 dance classes per week, partake in weekly lectures, private master classes, faculty mentoring, mock auditions, and networking and performance opportunities. It is revered as one of the premiere training grounds for the pre-professional dancer.
“Through the Professional Semester, we’re focusing on educating and training the next generation of dancers to be able to succeed in the dance industry,” explains BDC’s executive director, Diane King. “It’s giving them more than classroom training alone but also practical tools to succeed in this competitive world. I believe Richard would be so proud to see the community that has evolved at BDC!”
To be considered for the merit-based scholarships, dancers must first apply and be accepted to the BDC Professional Semester. To learn more about Pro Sem and the Richard Ellner Scholaships, visit www.broadwaydancecenter.com.
By Mary Callahan of Dance Informa.