While we have summer dance classes and training, as well as during the school year, there is something special about attending dance classes outside of your studio. That’s where summer intensives come in!
A summer intensive is an opportunity to train for an extended period of time outside of your studio with incredible instructors and like-minded dancers and gain valuable experience and training. But is your dancer ready? How do you choose the best summer intensive?
The best summer intensive for your dancer is the one that will benefit THEM the most. Therefore, there is no overall “best” summer intensive. Here are a few questions to ask when considering summer intensives for your dancer.
Has your dancer expressed interest in dancing more?
If your dancer is one who practices at home in every spare moment, obsessively watches dance videos on social media, and wants to be at the studio on their days off, you have a dancer who might benefit from attending a summer dance intensive!
On the other hand, if your dancer is content simply attending their weekly classes and doesn’t take the initiative to do more, they may not be ready or even interested in attending a summer intensive.
Summer intensives are a time and money commitment, so be sure to talk with your child about their options when considering summer dance training.
Does your dancer have the maturity to attend a summer dance intensive?
Summer intensives sound a bit like a sleepaway camp on the surface – dancers live in dorms, participate in activities and classes, and make lifelong friends. Sounds great! But a summer intensive, while fun for dancers who love to dance, also requires some discipline that a summer camp does not.
If your dancer is the type that easily gets up on their own for school, packs their dance bag, and remembers that extra pair of tights for recital, she’s mature enough to attend a summer intensive.
But if your child struggles with self-motivation, has to be prodded and reminded multiple times not to forget their dance bag, or asks to skip dance class in favor of another activity, a full-blown summer intensive might not be the way to go.
Are there local opportunities that would be just as beneficial to your dancer?
Many local dance studios in Port Orange offer scaled-down summer intensives that don’t involve going out of town or sleeping away from home. For the first-timer, a local studio’s summer dance intensive might be the best way to try out additional training.
Another benefit of a local summer dance intensive is that they may not involve an audition to participate. Bigger intensives most likely include an audition because they have limited space and are very competitive.
If your dancer is just dipping their toes into the summer intensive world, check into your local studio’s or other studios’ summer programming. Dancing at another studio in the same town where you live can be enlightening!
Does this summer intensive offer the experiences and styles your dancer enjoys?
For dancers who are looking for a more robust training experience, summer dance intensives can often be a stepping stone into more serious study. But, you wouldn’t send your bunhead to a hip-hop intensive, so it’s important to do your research regarding the styles of dance offered at the intensives you’re considering.
Programs like Commercial Dance Intensive operate both summer and winter programs for ages 7 and up, and connect dancers with professional artists as mentors. Dancers even get the chance to participate in a real music video shoot as backup dancers for an up-and-coming performing artist.
For dancers who are looking for a more ballet-based summer program, The Joffrey Ballet School offers multiple summer intensives with its renowned faculty in a variety of locations across the country. The Joffrey programs are highly competitive, and dancers can register for either the performance or non-performance track, depending on their interests.
Regardless of which type of summer intensive you choose, be sure to also look into the non-dance-related activities that are offered. While a summer intensive can be, well, intense, there should also be time for rest and fun!
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