Check Out These Summer Programs Designed for Young Professionals and College-Aged Dancers
Summer intensives aren’t just for teenagers anymore. Several companies and schools are now offering ballet programs tailored to the specific needs of young adults in their early career or in college. In addition to helping dancers stay in shape, these intensives and workshops give them a chance to receive coaching and career mentoring, practice the craft of choreography, learn new repertoire and expand their knowledge of the ballet business. Read on for more information on eight upcoming professional and collegiate summer intensives.
Kaatsbaan Pro-Studio (Tivoli, New York)
Erin Baiano, Courtesy Kaatsbaan
Pro-Studio, now in its second year, is a new coaching initiative for young professionals developed by American Ballet Theatre principal Stella Abrera. Held August 16–29 at New York’s Kaatsbaan, where Abrera was recently appointed artistic director, the program will accept 12 early-career dancers, from apprentice level to year-five corps members. Participants will work closely with Abrera and guest faculty members Martine van Hamel, Kevin McKenzie and Sascha Radetsky. In addition to technique classes, dancers will receive private coaching in the classical repertoire. They will also have the opportunity to learn repertoire by Twyla Tharp and to work with Jacob Jonas The Company, which will be in residence at Kaatsbaan. Pro-Studio will also offer lectures and symposiums on other aspects of the dance business, such as marketing, development, community engagement and programming.
Nashville Ballet Summer Training for Professionals (Nashville, TN)
Heather Thorne, Courtesy Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet started its Summer Training for Professionals last year to help young artists not only stay in shape during the off-season, but to continue honing their craft. The program offers flexibility for dancers to create a schedule based on their individual needs, taking any classes within Nashville Ballet’s regular Summer Intensive or its Adult Program. Dancers can register in at least one-week increments between June 15–July 10. (Each week will be capped at five people). In addition to classes, participants are given exclusive opportunities to meet with summer intensive faculty and Nashville Ballet artistic staff for career advice, mentorship or to learn more about the industry. While an audition is not required, proof of employment is.
University of North Carolina School of the Arts Professional Studies and Choreographic Essentials Intensives (Winston-Salem, NC)
Peter Mueller, Courtesy UNCSA
University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers two programs for college students, professionals and pre-professional dancers over 18. Its Summer Dance Professional Studies is a one-week immersive workshop in which dancers work directly with a distinguished choreographer or dance artist, either collaborating with them on the creative process or learning repertory. Dancers may choose to work with one of the four visiting artists and attend master classes from the others. This summer offers two, weeklong workshops: June 14–20 with Sidra Bell, Alexandra Damiani or Victor Quijada, and June 28–July 3 with Gregory Dolbashian.
The Choreographic Essentials Workshop, led by internationally renowned choreographer Helen Pickett, is geared towards professional and pre-professional dancers ages 18–27 who are interested in the dance-making process. The weeklong program, held June 14–20, allows students to create a three-minute work and dance in two to three pieces of choreography. Pickett will not only help students develop skills for generating new ideas, but will also help them learn how to delegate and manage time. Application deadline is March 28.
Compass Coaching Project (Broomfield, CO)
Choreographer Dominic Walsh hosts Compass Coaching Project, June 1–13 at Colorado Conservatory of Dance in Broomfield, Colorado. Open to dancers over the age of 17, this two-week intensive focuses on nurturing individual needs both in class and through one-on-one coaching and career mentoring. In addition to ballet, contemporary, pointe, partnering and improvisation classes, Compass Coaching Project offers courses in Alexander Technique, anatomy and movement therapy. Dancers also have an opportunity to work on contemporary repertoire from luminaries like Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Crystal Pite and William Forsythe. A performance concludes the intensive. An audition is required.
Oklahoma International Dance Festival (Lone Wolf, OK)
This summer marks the first annual Oklahoma International Dance Festival, which includes a two-week Summer Intensive for dancers 18 and over. Held July 26–August 9 at the Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center in Southwestern Oklahoma, OIDF offers classes in ballet, modern, Pilates, Gaga and Gyrokinesis, as well as coached repertory sessions, panel discussions, repertory workshops and a gala performance. Its faculty includes Margo Sappington, Roser Muñoz, Vincent Gros, Raffaele Irace, Larry Keigwin and Brian Brooks.
The festival also offers a Choreography Showcase, allowing young dancemakers to take master classes and submit work for two adjudicated concerts, with feedback sessions from OIDF’s faculty. In addition to classes, the festival will produce five performances, headlined by Brian Brooks Moving Company, and including SOLOCOREOGRAFICO, an international showcase dedicated to solos.
ABT Collegiate Intensive (New York, NY)
Rosalie O’Connor, Courtesy ABT
Held June 1-19 in New York City, American Ballet Theatre’s Collegiate Summer Intensive is designed for dancers 17 to 24 who are pursuing higher education. Participants enjoy classes in ballet, pointe, partnering, modern and company repertoire with ABT faculty. Academic credit options are also available through participating colleges and universities, and each student will receive a digital video file of the intensive’s final showing. Plus, there’s this perk: Dancers have access to student-discount tickets to select ABT performances at the Metropolitan Opera House. Auditions are required through ABT’s summer intensive audition tour or by video.
Cincinnati Ballet Collegiate Intensive (Cincinnati, OH)
Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet
Cincinnati Ballet’s Collegiate Intensive is an intimate program co-produced by the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Held June 15–July 24, the program is designed to serve the unique needs of college dancers 18 and over. (Students may choose between a three-week and six-week session.) In addition to a full day of classes in ballet, modern, repertoire and composition, faculty from both Cincinnati Ballet and CCM offer personal coaching. Dancers can also learn more about other dance industry careers, with workshops in administration, production and choreography. While the program is not credit bearing on its own, many dancers have been able to receive credit through their own college or university. Dancers may also be considered for the Otto M. Budig Academy professional training division and Cincinnati Ballet’s second company. Auditions are required, either by video or during its summer intensive audition tour.
Ballet 5:8 Collegiate Intensive and Choreography Intensive (Orland Park, IL)
Jacquelyn Hynson, Courtesy Ballet 5:8
Ballet 5:8, based just outside Chicago, offers two Christian, faith-based intensives for young adults. Its Collegiate Intensive, held July 20–31, is for dancers over 18 at the college, trainee or professional levels. Dancers take approximately 20 classes a week, including ballet, pointe, men’s and women’s variations, Pilates, partnering, Progressing Ballet Technique, modern, improvisation and more. Participants also learn selections from Ballet 5:8 repertoire and have daily spiritual fellowship and reflection. A performance concludes the intensive.
Ballet 5:8’s Choreographic Intensive is a five-day workshop (July 13–17) exploring choreographic theory and mechanics. In addition to classes in ballet, modern, improvisation and composition, dancers will have the chance to choreograph an original work on summer intensive students, performed on the last day during the summer intensive showcase. They also receive mentoring and feedback from artistic director Julianna Rubio Slager and summer intensive faculty. There are only five positions available, and auditions are required.