Dance scholarships available for Charleston County students

Stephen Gabriel (left) and Jonathan Tabbert at their dance studio in Mount Pleasant last year.

Wade Spees

Formed in 2012 as the realization of a dream and to provide a new classical dance school in town, the Charleston Dance Institute has been offering classes in ballet and other forms at its studios in Mount Pleasant.

Run by Jonathan Tabbert and Stephen Gabriel, the Dance Institute has 95 enrolled students. It is collaborating with other arts organizations and presenting student performances.

This month, the school announced the formation of its Community Education Foundation, which makes scholarships available to children in Charleston County schools who show talent but lack the funds to pay for dance class.

“This cause is so dear to us as both Stephen and I would not have had the training we did without financial aid,” Tabbert wrote in an email. “We firmly believe that all students with the love of dance should have the opportunity to do so.”

Proof of financial need is required (free-lunch certification from the public schools will be considered adequate qualification), along with an audition to assess ability and interest.

After-school dance classes at the institute include pre-ballet, ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, variations and choreography composition.

Scholarship applications are available online at or by calling 284-8151. Auditions will be held July 21 at the studios, 494 Wando Park Blvd.

For more information, email Janet Pitner at