School Buzz: Eight rockin' summer study programs
Ballet with a Twist
If you love ballet, but feel like the classics aren’t for you, don’t fret! COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet’s summer program will give you the foundation and structure of classical ballet, but also train you to work off-center and tackle many different dance styles. At COMPLEXIONS, you work with artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson every day, learning their original style and choreography. Attendees must be 13-18 years old with a strong background in ballet and modern. An audition is required. Dates: August, TBA at press time; complexionsdance.org/summer_intensive.php
Have you ever left a Broadway show feeling inspired and determined to be up on that stage, but unsure about where to start? The three-week intensive program offered by Broadway Theatre Project is a great jumping-off point! The teachers are masters of their craft, including living legends like Ben Vereen and Charlotte d’Amboise. All students must take classes in acting, dance, voice and writing. Students will also meet with representatives from colleges with musical theater programs and go through audition workshops with Broadway casting directors. The program is on the campus of the University of South Florida, and each session culminates in a student performance at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. You must be at least 16 years old, and college students can apply as well! Auditions are live or by videotape. There’s no better atmosphere
to learn how to succeed on Broadway than to be around those who have lived it. Dates: July 6-27; broadwaytheatreproject.com/home
Dance Conservatory Meets Hip Hop
Want to take your hip-hop skills to the next level and learn how to enter the professional world of commercial dance? Here’s an opportunity for you: The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory Summer Intensive in NYC offers technique classes, b-boy fundamentals, funkstyles, hip-hop dance theory, health and nutrition, field trips and choreography. At the end of the intensive you’ll participate in a performance choreographed by faculty including Nicola Linge, who was an assistant producer for the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. No audition required. Dates: June 30–August 30; hdcny.com/wst_page4.html
The Art of SLAM
Are you daring enough to fly through glass? Meet Elizabeth Streb, founder of Brooklyn’s STREB Company. Through her studies of the human body and its possibilities (using science and math!) she has created a dynamic style of dance that defies gravity with grace. At her SLAM summer program—SLAM stands for Streb Laboratory for Action Mechanics—you can train in trapeze, aerial work and more in a safe and educational way. Students can take one weeklong workshop, or register for the whole summer! Open to ages 5-14, no audition required. Dates: TBA at press time; strebusa.org/index.html
Swing Your Way to Cirque du Soleil
Sick and tired of hearing, “Don’t try this at home?” If you want to dangle from wires, contort your body, dive from great heights and perform tricks on moving walls and wheels like Cirque performers do, now you can! For safe, top-notch training, head to the National Circus School in Montreal, Canada. It offers one- or two-week intensive programs for ages 9-12 and 13-17. Classes include circus arts, dance, and martial arts or acrobatic sports with an artistic component, such as artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, diving and figure skating. You must mail in an admission form to be considered. Dates: Ages 9-12: July 14-20; Ages 13-17: July 21–August 1; enc.qc.ca/en/programs/program3.asp
It’s not often that you get the chance to train with one of the country’s most esteemed modern companies. The Paul Taylor Dance Company is in its 53rd year of breaking dance boundaries. Each summer, students can train in Taylor’s distinctive style and learn the ins and outs of working with a professional company. The Taylor Intensives take place in NYC, and the faculty includes company alumni. Classes are given in Taylor style and repertory. No audition is necessary; however, an application must be completed, along with a teacher evaluation. Dates: June 30–July 25; ptdc.org/si_si.php
Round Em' Up
There’s no better way to kick your tap butt into gear than with Vancouver’s Tap Boot Camp, put on by the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. Tap masters Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters, who have shared the stage with legends like Jimmy Slyde and traveled with St. Louis Tap Festival, host this 30-hour, one-week intensive; also appearing as a guest artist is Shelley Stewart Hunt, who performed in the national tour of Cats. The goal: to build your technique, style and performance quality. Tap experience is necessary, ranging from advanced-beginner to advanced, and you must be between ages 9 and 16. On the first day of camp, you will be placed in levels based on your skill and experience. No audition required. Dates: July 21-25; vantapdance.bc.ca/summer-youth-boot-camp-ayodele.html
Ballet Goes Extreme
If you’re ready to take your ballet training to the next level, Kaatsbaan’s Extreme Ballet preprofessional summer intensive might be right for you. This program is for ballet dancers who are preparing to jump into the professional world. Located in Tivoli, NY, the secluded countryside provides a great atmosphere to stay focused on your training and glean advice from the roster of stellar teachers. Dancers at least 14 years old can audition at intermediate, advanced and preprofessional levels. Directed by former ABT star Martine van Hamel. Dates: June 16–July 5, July 6-26, July 27–August 16; kaatsbaan.org/extreme.html
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.