Summer Preview

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/

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

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