Performance with Purpose PWP VIP COACHING: FINANCIAL AID - Equity Scholarship APPLICATION

This application is for financial aid towards a portion of the cost of PWP VIP coaching (one-quarter to three-quarters of the program fees, depending on financial need, available funds, and number of accepted applicants).

*Please submit as soon as possible if you are interested in applying for aid, based on our availability of funds. *

More information about the Performance with Purpose program is at, and you should read through the whole page before applying. Preference for scholarships is for current teachers or those interested in a teaching path.

Active participation is expected for those accepting scholarship aid, including joining the discussion forum and attendance at meetings (or follow-up discussion in the private forum after watching recordings).

(GC Equity Fund donation form is here: 
Donations are always welcome. This is a matching scholarship fund, in that I match all donations to this fund 100 percent: for example, a donation of $50 translates to $100 of program aid I can offer to a selected dancer.)


I have long been interested in socioeconomic justice, and in expanding access to dance and performer education. For every event I have produced locally in New York, from small workshops to large conferences, I have included scholarship opportunities, mostly in exchange for volunteer help, as a way of balancing socioeconomic disparities in access to the dance. I haven't gotten rich through dance. But I still care about increasing opportunities through group fundraising. In the past year I started thinking deeper about how I could offer scholarships in my online courses, and to how I could contribute to equity in access to the dance, and to elevate dancers from marginalized communities who have historically been shut out of many opportunities.

Hence, the purpose of the scholarships is to offer a direct and significant discount to my coaching programs for dancers from groups that have been historically marginalized in our dance community, who are on a performing and teaching path, and for whom the financial support could make the difference between participating or not participating.

In the past I have offered aid in exchange for work, and still do offer this in appropriate cases (including for dancers from non-marginalized communities who have either financial need + dedication to helping out and/or a compelling work skill to offer in exchange). These scholarships, however are NOT that; rather, they are in the form of grants, with the understanding of active participation in the series by participants (coachees) who are developing their art, cultural knowledge, and performance skills.

Training contributes to a dancer's education and teaching profile, provides connections and networking opportunities, and builds community. It is essential that a diverse range of people have access to this training, to more deeply engage with the issues of cultural transmission and appropriation that are built into the form, informed by cultural knowledge and a critical eye, while enjoying the pure joy and physical empowerment that this dance inspires.

It is no secret that groups of dancers have been historically excluded from commercial opportunities in the field, simply because of the color of their skin, body type, sexuality or gender expression. As a nightclub and wedding dancer in New York, I witnessed racism, sizeism, and homophobia in many owners' and musicians' hiring decisions. Those venues are not only sources of income, they are also sources of education: about Arabic music, for example, and culture. I was not considered especially "Middle Eastern looking" in my nightclub days, and I was not the one with the "best body," but I was very definitely considered white, and I very definitely benefited from that. I saw who was excluded, and though I spoke up against it, I also benefited from it. In the Arabic music education I began to receive in those clubs, and in the connections I made with musicians that led to my New York coaching series and to my DVDs, I benefited. I was, in part, paid to learn -- an opportunity that has not been given equitably, because it is based on "commercial" criteria influenced by Western and white supremacist notions. My goal in offering scholarships towards my series is to honor the commitment of interested dancers by matching it with my own commitment. It is also about passing on the legacy of my work, more than three decades of practice and research in this field, empowering other dancers with this legacy, and contributing to a fairer playing field in the dance community.

The scholarships are intended to reward those with talent and drive who are strongly interested in Arabic music and traditional culture, interested in teaching it with cultural sensitivity, and committed to a group process, which is what my coaching series offer. This scholarship fund may also be used to support motivated dancers from other countries where their local currency offers severely limited buying power in US dollars.


Priority will be given to:

1) non-white dancers (BIPOC in the US and also ethnically marginalized dancers from other countries who are committed to being part of an anti-racist community experience in Ginger City programs); there is a worldwide culture of white supremacy in the "standards" responsible for disparities in hiring, for performance and teaching opportunities. Indirectly, those unfair "standards" regarding skin color and body type end up controlling access to information. They exert a malignant influence not only in the USA but around the world, including in Egypt, the home country of the styles I primarily teach. And I believe it is important to counteract it.

2) dancers who do not conform in their sexuality or gender expression to "traditional" standards, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community. They have faced discrimination, and often worse, worldwide, in their pursuit of knowledge in a traditional form that may have shut them out. I welcome a diverse community, and seek to support that goal however possible.

3) dancers with disabilities or who identify as neurodivergent or "physio-divergent"; you are invited to apply, and are also encouraged to consult with me about how I can best accommodate your needs in this series.

Scholarship recipients will be selected through interview, application, and recommendations, with a priority for those who are already teaching or mentoring other dancers, or who are strongly motivated to pursue teaching in this dance field. Interested applicants can also join waitlists for my future programs at the top of the home page at or reach out with questions to

For privacy, scholarship recipients will not be named publicly, but total number of scholarships given will be reported to program members and to donors.

Future scholarships may have different eligibility guidelines, depending on the program/course-specific goals.


This scholarship is for dancers who want to be socially active in the program = to participate actively in video submissions and discussions. Even if you are in an "out-of-the-way" timezone or have an unpredictable schedule, you'll still be able to join in online. If selected, recipients will receive the same coaching and course recordings, for lifetime access, as full-paying members, and will not be identified to other group members, to protect privacy.  


If English is not your first language, please reach out to us about anything that is difficult to understand.

If you have a disability or other limitation where it would be easier to submit your answers in a video or audio recording instead of typing, you can do that. Just reach out to us by email to share the link to your audio or video.

Thank you for your interest!   -Ranya Renee    (

Questions? Please contact me at 

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Your name (include legal name and dance name if you have one - indicate how you prefer to be called) *
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Your location (city/state/country) and TIMEZONE *
PLEASE CONFIRM that you have read all the program info for the program, and watched any videos on the info page, before applying: *
GOALS: What are your teaching and/or performing goals? *
WHY INTERESTED? What about the coaching experience with Ranya most interests you? Why do you want to participate? And why now? *
TEACHING: Are you currently a teacher, or planning to teach? If yes, what are you teaching or what do you plan to teach? And: what is your mission, your sense of purpose in teaching? *
GROUP REPRESENTATION: Are you a member of a group that is underrepresented or discriminated against in the area of commercial bellydance, folk dance or other dance performance, or as a student of these forms? Are you from an otherwise marginalized group? Please specify and describe your experience with regards to your identity in society and in the dance community. *
FINANCIAL NEED: These scholarships are intended for low-income individuals or those with current financial challenges (including family or student loan commitments), who also fit into the above demographics. Please describe any extenuating circumstances that affect your ability to participate in paid online dance programs, financial or otherwise (student loan debt, illness or injury of self or family member, job loss/unemployment/underemployment, medical expenses, etc.) *
COMMUNITY: Are you committed to being part of an active, supportive coaching community, including posting videos as required by the program, and contributing to discussion in the online forum?   *
INTERVIEW MEETING: Are you available to meet for an interview with me (Ranya) within the next week? Interviews will be 30-45 minutes long. (Please sign up as early as possible, as I'll begin offering aid packages as applications come in.) *
OTHER COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS you want to add to this application ("none" otherwise) *
Do you know another dancer who might benefit from a scholarship for this program? If yes, please share this form link with them so they can apply if they are interested:
Please hit SUBMIT to submit your form!  (consider saving your answers before submitting, to be sure you have a backup)
Thank you very much for your interest and your time in answering these questions. We'll reach out soon, or you can reach us at with any questions, with SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION in the subject header. I look forward to reading your application. You should receive confirmation from me within 48 hours of applying, to complete an interview for the program(s).  -Ranya

A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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