Typically, competition season wraps up just as schools are letting out for the summer. And families often spread out summer plans, or they embark on planned vacations and travel out of town. So many dance studios take some kind of break during summer months.
During these months, some dancers take advantage of dance-related opportunities around the country. Several of our dancers traveled to meet their dance idols, tour college campuses, learn from current Broadway performers, and perform on professional stages. Taking advantage of these breaks to acquire and refine new dance skills can accelerate a dancer’s growth, while also helping to maintain flexibility, stamina, and strength during the off-season. Continue on to read how some of our studio dancers spent their summertime, gaining valuable experience, and learning new skills, choreography, and adjustments to their technique.
Some dancers start auditioning early during winter and spring months to secure spots in summer programs. Others have specific goals, and seek out local classes to help improve their skills.
One of our seniors, Sienna P, knew she wanted to see New York City. She auditioned earlier in the spring, and wound up getting to spend four weeks at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Summer High School Dance Program. This program consisted of professional training and development that allowed her to earn six college credits. Outside of her studio time in NYC, Sienna got to see many Broadway shows and performances with the new friends she made from the program.
I use the summer as a time to further my training and work with new people. In previous summers, I have attended summer intensives with San Diego Ballet and American Ballet Theater. This year I went to the NYU Tisch Dance Summer Program. I took daily classes in Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, and Creative Research. Some of the faculty were dancers from companies like Alvin Alley, Monica Bill Barnes, and Bill T. Jones, while others were broadway performers. Each faculty member had a new take on dance which really diversified my training and made the summer a fun and memorable experience.—Sienna
While Sienna was attending NYU, her sister, Abbie, was uptown at Joffrey Ballet School. Abbie auditioned in the spring and earned a spot in Joffrey’s NYC Pre-Professional Ballet program. Not only was Abbie hanging out on 34th and Broadway, but she learned to navigate the subway system to make her way to Joffrey Dance Center in Long Island City. Not only did Abbie return with new experiences, but she came back even more excited about Ballet.
Traditionally, I continue taking my classes at Aspire Dance Company in the summer. Additionally, I have participated in summer intensives for the past three years. These included San Diego Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey’s Pre-Professional Ballet Intensive in New York.—Abbie
Emma B pursued her love of acrobatics by attending Joffrey’s Cirque Arts Las Vegas Summer Intensive. Emma had participated in Cirque Arts the previous summer and was eager to try again.
Attending summer programs has helped my confidence. It pushes me to want to be better, and I am always excited when I come home a better dancer.—Emma
Addie B wanted to attend an intensive that would strengthen her ability to learn and understand new choreography. Specifically, how to pick up choreography faster. She attended Joffrey Las Vegas Summer Intensive. Sweating it out in Las Vegas was just what Addie needed. Her instructors already see an improvement in her focus and ability to pick up new choreography faster.
I love the summer programs because I show other dancers what I have learned from Aspire. I also like that I have new friends around the country.—Addie
Both Emma and Addie also got to attend Joffrey’s NYC Jazz and Contemporary Summer Intensive. This program runs for four weeks in the heart of NYC. The girls spent two weeks learning different techniques and choreography, and performed in the Spectrum show at the end of the program at Symphony Space. One of the many highlights of their time was learning from Amy Yakima from Wicked and dancing with Angelo Soriano from Alladin.
Dancing on a professional stage in NYC was one of the best experiences of my life. Especially in front of a full audience that appreciates performing arts. I will never forget it.—Emma