As you start planning your summer program auditions, make sure to consider your dream college. It might offer an intensive for teens, which is one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the school. DS rounded up three dance departments with top-notch summer programs so you can start strategizing now.

University of California, Los Angeles

What to expect: This program frames dance in a context bigger than the studio. You’ll spend time investigating dance as a tool for social change, and you’ll study everything from Polynesian dance to postmodern techniques.

Dates: late June (see website for exact dates)

Application: Dancers give short answers to a series of questions, and submit their applications online. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning in February, and decisions are made approximately four weeks after submission. There is no audition.

More information: summer.ucla.edu/institutes

Columbia College Chicago

What to expect: Modern dancers will love this program, which emphasizes improvisation and composition. You’ll get ballet and hip hop, too. Be prepared to work intensively on your collaboration skills during choreography class.

Dates: mid–late July (see website for exact dates)

Application: Dancers submit personal information via an online form. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through the end of June. Once students are notified of acceptance, they can register for classes online. There is no audition.

More information: colum.edu/academics/hssi/

(Photo by Jacob Brent, courtesy University of North Carolina School of the Arts)

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

What to expect: This intensive offers a wide variety of classes, including partnering and music for dancers. Many teachers are UNCSA alums who have gone on to have successful careers.

Dates: June 21–July 25

Audition: Auditions are held nationwide, January 17–February 14. Dancers will generally be notified of acceptance two weeks after their audition. Acceptance emails will include registration information.

More information: uncsa.edu/summersession/

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