We are so lucky at Aerial Dance. About a year ago one of our students started a scholarship fund and at the annual show in December we had a matching campaign that raised a lot of funds. These funds have been so critical for our members as job loss and lost time in the studio have hit.

After consulting with our lawyer and thoroughly reviewing our All Inclusive member contracts it was determined that the switch to online instead of in person was not sufficient “good cause” for a hold. But this isn’t bad news for our members because of the scholarship fund. Instead, anyone looking for a hold we have sent the link to apply for the scholarship. And what floors me is that they don’t apply! A member writes saying they don’t want to pay this month for some important reason to her and I literally tell her to apply so she don’t have membership payment this month; I send her a reminder to apply a few days later; and still I get no application from her. Instead, after the membership payment comes out I get an email from the member that makes me feel really crappy. And this makes me sad. I’m not trying to be difficult not letting “holds” take place, I’m simply going by the letter of the contract and focusing on the two most important things:

  1. keeping our community together.
  2. keeping our instructors employed.

That’s it. If we went against contract and let you “hold” memberships you wouldn’t be part of our community during this time. You wouldn’t be in our very active facebook groups. You wouldn’t see all the positivity and motivation. You wouldn’t have access to any of the classes or activities.You wouldn’t be able to return to in person classes when they resume soon. And we would lose the income of your membership which means less classes and less ability to pay our staff. By applying for the scholarship you stay in all the FB groups, you retain the option to take any of the 60+ online classes every week, you have the option of doing any of the free member activities every week, you have the ability to resume to in person as soon as safely possible and you allow our instructors the ability to pay their rent and bills. The name of the scholarship is the SISTERHOOD scholarship, and applying is a very community minded, caring action by a sister who had wanted a membership status change. This is easily a win win.

This is a crazy unprecedented time and we are lucky enough to be able to fund all applications that have been coming through. When someone chooses not to apply because of pride, or shame, or feeling not worthy, or whatever, it makes me really sad because then she is mad at me or holds resentment that we didn’t give her what she wanted. We want good relationships with all our members when this is over. We are trying to make that happen by being as liberal with the scholarship funds as possible and will continue to do so until the fund runs out.

Right now applying for the scholarship isn’t just about you. By applying you will get the membership payment you wish/need for this coming month (there is a half and a full option) but you’ll also be taking a step to make sure Aerial Dance and our instructors are here when we return to in person classes. Only you know if the reason you’re applying feels ethical and right for you. If it does, apply.

I don’t have words to describe how grateful I am to all the women who have contributed to the scholarship so that we can help our community weather this dumpster fire. We will get through this. Together. And the scholarship fund is a big part of that. So if you have ever donated, THANK YOU!