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Dance Scholarships

Supporting Dancers at Every Stage

Scholarships We Offer

The Pampa Cortés Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a deserving student who takes Geary Dance Center, San Francisco, California, Tap or Character Dance classes.  While this scholarship is for any student, special consideration given to those who demonstrate financial need.


Argentine master dancer Narciso del Carmen Cortés (1946-2014), known by his stage name of Pampa Cortés, was born in the northern province of Santiago del Estero, a center of Argentine folk dance. His first love was the rhythmic dances of his community which he learned by ear listening to the weekly radio program. He was orphaned at the age of 11 so left school to work. Still, he loved learning throughout his life. Pampa became a professional dancer at age 15 and migrated to Buenos Aires. He was invited to the most prestigious tango dance company of Juan Carlos Copes, rising to the post of company captain. His dance training included the wide spectrum of Argentine dances: the rhythmic dances of the north and the Pampas, European-based dances (including waltz and polka), and the African-based dances from the slave culture in South America. Mr. Cortés immigrated to the US in the cast of “Forever Tango”, relocating to San Francisco when the show left. Pampa Cortés, humble son of his village, achieved great acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director of 52 years of professional career.

The Carlos Javier Ponce, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is awarded at Geary Dance Center, San Francisco, Californiaeach semester to a current student age 10 or younger whose passion for dance cannot be contained with one class and is adding another. $150, good for 1 semester, can apply consecutively for up to 4 consecutive semesters, open to all income levels but extra consideration given to those who demonstrate financial need. Scholarship will apply to the second or additional class.


Carlos Javier Ponce was born in Clodomira, Santiago del Estero province, in Argentina. He loved to dance. He studied at the Dance Academy of Yanasu Angel Muñoz with three teachers: Ariel Acosta, Pablo Acosta, and Ricardo Suárez. His favorite dance was the malambo - the tap dancing of the gauchos. Carlitos performed in school and community events, in dance festivals in other cities, and was in a dance company that participated in an important festival in Salsipuedes, province of Córdoba. 


Carlos was the protegé of Pampa Cortés and naturally was his successor. He was proud to be Pampa’s godson, as much in dance as spiritually. He also became one of the best students at his school. As a result, he was chosen to be a standard bearer at his school, Centro Experimental N° 8 General Antonino Taboada. Sadly, he died at the age of 11 because of a tragic car accident. (1994 - 2006)

The Dance Passion Award is a $50 Cash Award to any upper level student in the Teaching Assistant program, age 12 or older, actively assisting, mentoring and demonstrating leadership skills to lower level students. Good for 1 semester, can be awarded consecutively for up to 4 consecutive semesters. Certificate given.

Who demonstrates a passion and desire for dance? The student who puts dance first, who must dance to ease their soul, and who uses dance to express themselves. Passionate dancers make sure their homework is done. Passionate dancers make sure they are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for class, and don’t back down when faced with a challenge. Passionate dancers know they will work hard to do their best. Passionate dancers always attend class, show good leadership skills, and help their peers.

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Carlitos Ponce stage malambo.jpg

For more information about these scholarships offered at Geary Dance Center, San Francisco, California, contact them at

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