Dance All Across the Globe With USArtists International

USArtists International (USAI) provides grants that defray the costs of dancers (solo artists and ensemble acts) who showcase their choreography abroad at festivals and performing arts marketplaces. This is a unique, valuable opportunity to fund your next international gig.

USAI recognizes the scope of expenses that can be involved when dancers travel internationally, and the grants will therefore cover travel, housing, per diem, shipping, visa fees, and agents’ fees—up to $15,000, though typically dispensed in the $1,000 - $10,000 range.

USAI seeks dancers and dance ensembles that demonstrate artistic excellence; the organization also looks for artistic merit from the festival or performing arts marketplace in which you'll be performing. Wrapped around both of these criteria: The event in which you perform must have a competitive selection process, meaning it can't be an open-entry situation in which performers sign up without audition.

USAI is also looking for diversity in the American dancers' work that is showcased abroad, but also in the performing platforms themselves. The festival or marketplace in which you plan to perform must showcase either a group of American performers (including those in other disciplines, such as music or theater), or showcase groups from at least two countries outside of the host nation.

But USAI is very flexible as to where these festivals and marketplaces take place. In fact, it underwrites travel all across the globe. In 2014 alone, it funded dancers to strut their stuff in Austria, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

One other note of selction logistics: Dance performance groups (or solo artists) must have 501(c)(3) status, or else be fiscally sponsored by a reputable nonprofit agency.

Applications are online, and are administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Alliance. There are three deadlines each year: in April, September, and December. Choose the deadline that links up with the dates you intend to perform internationally; each deadline is synced with performances set to happen about three months later, and you’ll hear if you’ve received the grant about 10 weeks after each application deadline. So functionally speaking, you might have already had to commit to the festival or marketplace performance, but if you do wind up receiving a USAI grant, your bank account will be so much the better for it.

Related - USArtists International: Grants for Dance