Awards and Funding

Awards within the Dance Program
  • The Julia Wray Dance Award celebrates the memory of a much beloved Julia Wray who for many years was the leader and passionate protagonist for dance at Duke and in North Carolina.  It is awarded to a faculty nominated senior who has shown outstanding leadership in our program. Award is $250.00 (nominated)
  • The Clay Taliaferro Dance Award, instituted in 2006 to honor this extraordinary performing artist, choreographer and teacher, recognizes the artistic and technical growth of a faculty nominated undergraduate sophomore or junior student who has the “potential to become a professional dancer, teacher, or choreographer.” Award is $250.00 (nominated)
  • The Dance Project Award is a competitive award presented annually. Two Dance Project Awards of $250 each are available to help defray expenses for dance studies, creative projects or research. ** Due to physical distancing regulations, Duke University administration has restricted all in-person public events on the Duke campus through at least February 28, 2021. Students with interest in project support should email the DUS directly ( to discuss feasibility in light of these constraints. 
    • Eligibility and Criteria for selection:
      • Any undergraduate student who is currently enrolled in Dance Program classes is eligible for this award.
      • The statement of purpose must effectively clarify how the proposed project will further the student’s development in dance as a performer, choreographer, or writer.
      • The quality and extent of the student’s involvement in the Dance Program are important considerations.
    • Applications should include:
      • A description of the project
      • A timeline for completion
      • A project budget
    • Submit Applications as an attachment by April 9 to Sarah Wilbur,
  • The Dance Writing Award is a competitive award presented annually. The winning paper will be chosen among submissions that are received by first day of Spring break of every year. The Dance Writing Award recognizes the Duke University undergraduate who has written a paper demonstrating excellence in dance writing and has proven his/her ability to translate the movement text to the written word.
    • Guidelines:
      • Student applicants must be enrolled in at least one dance course (half credit or full credit) in either the fall or spring semester of the academic year of their submission.
      • The submission may be a paper written specifically for this competition, or a paper written at any time in the past semesters at Duke (e.g. written for a journal or a newspaper; written for class, etc.). It can be reworked and edited as you feel is necessary.
      • The subject matter and content of the paper is open. It may be historical, theoretical, reflective or research oriented. For example, the paper may be a performance review, a reflective journal or an academic research paper. Citations in an academically acceptable method and a bibliography must be included if the nature of your paper requires it.
      • The paper is to be typed in 12 Times New Roman font, double spaced, and with one inch margins.
      • Only one entry (paper submission) per student would be acceptable.
      • The winning paper will be selected by the members of the dance faculty.
      • The winner will receive a $250 cash award. The award will be announced as part of the Arts Awards Ceremony during graduation weekend.
    • By submitting your paper, you agree to allow the Dance Program to place your paper online for others to read.
    • Please submit your paper by March 8. It should be sent electronically to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Sarah Wilbur,

Arts and Sciences Awards
  • Benenson Awards in the Arts provide funding for fees, travel and other educational expenses for arts-centered projects proposed by undergraduates. Applicants must be undergraduates in good standing in Trinity College or the Pratt School of Engineering who are currently enrolled; seniors may apply funds to projects planned for the one year period following graduation. Full information:
  • The Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts is an award presented annually by a faculty committee to a nominated graduating senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding achievement in artistic performance or creation during four years of undergraduate work. The prize of $1,000 was established in 1983 through the generosity of Louis C. Sudler, Chicago, Illinois.

Duke Arts