The Keith Lee Scholarship Fund

A new scholarship initiative honoring Mr. Lee’s 50+ year career and our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

The Keith Lee Scholarship Fund (KLSF) is Charlottesville Ballet’s new initiative to provide scholarships to Charlottesville Ballet Academy (CBA) specifically for young men and dancers from diverse demographic backgrounds. 

Our goals are to help CBA better reflect our community’s diverse makeup of ethnic identities and to create a pipeline for dancers into the Trainee Program and Professional Company. This is the pilot year for this new scholarship, and we will welcome our first cohort of applicants in the 2023-24 Academic Year!

WHO: dancers ages 9-18 who identify as male or hail from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds; previous dance experience is not required.

WHAT: The inaugural Keith Lee Scholarship Fund is designed to cover up to 80% of a student’s tuition at Charlottesville Ballet Academy, not exceeding $2,000 per Academic Year 2023-24.

The application period for the 2023-24 Academic Year has closed.


June 28: Application Deadline by 11:59PM

July 5: KLSF panelists meet for scholarship selection

August 1: Candidates notified via email and scholarship winners announced

September 5: CBA Academic Year begins

Questions about applying? Please email [email protected] or call our CB staff at 434.218.3652.

Want to support these efforts? Check out the work of Charlottesville Ballet’s IDEA Committee or make a tax-deductible gift to the Keith Lee Scholarship Fund:

Celebrating the 50-year Dance Legacy of Keith Lee

Keith Lee, Resident Choreographer and Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Charlottesville Ballet

Keith Lee hails from the Bronx, NY and began training at the High School of Performing Arts in NYC. In 1969, Mr. Lee was the first Black soloist to join the American Ballet Theatre and he went on to dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. His repertory included the choreography of such luminaries as Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Agnes DeMille, Lar Lubovitch, Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor, as well as performance credits in theater and broadway musicals. He has served as ballet master for Ailey and Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Capitol Ballet, and has been teaching and choreographing for dance companies across the world. Mr. Lee has called Central Virginia home since 1994, and he was named Artist Laureate by the City of Lynchburg where he continues to work as a freelance choreographer, master teacher, and performing arts coordinator. He has shared his vision and 50-year dance legacy with the Charlottesville Ballet since 2008, and he serves as Resident Choreographer and Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the entire organization.

Our Keith Lee Scholarship Selection Panelists

Thank you to our dedicated volunteers from the IDEA Committee who will help select the inaugural cohort of Keith Lee Scholarship recipients in Summer 2023!

Maria Chee, Lecturer in Anthropology & Ethnic Studies and CB Moves Teaching Artist

Jaime Hawkins, African American Teaching Fellow, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at Charlottesville Day School and CBA Parent

Jessica Johnson, Director of Research at the Karsh Institute of Democracy at UVA and CBA Parent

Aqura Nicholson, Money Coach at All The Plans LLC, former student of Keith Lee, and current CBA Student

Keith Lee, Artist Laureate, Resident Choreographer and Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Julie Caprio, Artistic Director of Hamilton Ballet Theatre NJ

Carol Krohn, CB Board Member and IDEA Committee Chair

Claudia Strawderman, Development Coordinator and CB Staff Liaison