The Next Step Fund was established in December 2009 by Susan S. Kettering to advance education by providing scholarships to residents of the Miami Valley who are currently dancers at Dayton Ballet.
After one year of residency, Dayton Ballet dancers may enroll in scholarship-funded online courses at Sinclair Community College. In order to qualify, students must meet all of the following requirements:
- Must be a resident of Miami Valley
- Must be a current dancer at Dayton Ballet, or have retired from Dayton Ballet in the last two years, or be on a leave of absence from Dayton Ballet due to an injury
- Students are eligible for renewal of scholarship
- Preference for renewal will be given to students who have a GPA of 3.25 or higher
“All dancers inevitably must come to terms with the reality of retirement. This can be an incredibly difficult transition, having to cope with the end of a career, while trying to make decisions for the future. I am beyond grateful that I have been a recipient of the Next Step Fund. This scholarship has been one of the most important investments in my future, giving me opportunities that I otherwise would not have had available. Instead of falling into a period of grieving my 20-year career, I used the Next Step Fund to gain an education in the health sciences, earn a degree, and gain employment. Education is such a wonderful gift that has enriched my life and shown me a whole new set of abilities. The Next Step Fund has truly been an incredible gift that I feel so fortunate to have received!”
– Halliet Slack, retired Dayton Ballet dancer