15 SUMMER INTENSIVES THAT PAY OFF (as featured in a Ballet Education’s Magazine)
Summer intensives are ridiculously expensive; in fact they are beyond expensive. Like, you might have a sell a kidney to keep your child dancing. It is quite overwhelming. Nowadays, summer intensives or summer programs are a breeding ground for companies to pull up and coming dancers, and cultivate a wealth of talent. With that being said, summer programs also help finance a school year round. After a lot of exchanging of emails, people always ask what summer programs should my child audition to? The answer is never clear because different summer programs cater to different things.
Reputation and prestige are always something ballet dancers are going to go after, but the reality is that different summer programs focus on different things at different age groups. So, it is hard to be certain if a summer program will pay off for your child or not. You also have to decide how mature your child is, and if he or she will be able to digest the knowledge at a very fast rate. Most summer intensives are five weeks of the most intense training with multiple teachers. Now, here are my top 15 summer intensives every child should consider auditioning for.
Even though summer intensives are money makers, they play key parts in getting a job. For example, School of American Ballet feeds into New York City Ballet, which means you need to be seen at the summer course if you don’t live in NYC. So… You feed through… Like any company.
- SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET: It isn’t number one because I am a fan of the school, it is rated number one because the results of the students. Students learn the Balanchine Aesthetic that enhances musicality, speed and spatial awareness. (website)
- SAN FRANCISCO BALLET SCHOOL: This program is a beast. Kids who go to SFB SI come back stronger than ever. (website)
- ELLISON BALLET*: Amazing results, very Russian. Great for the dancer who is behind. (website)
- MASTER BALLET ACADEMY*: Amazing results as well, but more known for their year-round program of elite dancers. Not recommended for young dancers, but matured dancers in their training who are looking to turn and jump more. (website)
- PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET SCHOOL: If you want to learn how to jump, and you get in… I feel like every student I have seen come back from PNB SI comes back as an antelope. (website)
- CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA YOUTH BALLET*: Great program for the student who started late and needs to catch up, or needs cleaning up. It is a great back to basics program as well. No audition needed. (website)
- BOSTON BALLET SCHOOL: Students come back extremely strong. Technique and precision are key here. Boston SI Students come back so clean. (website)
- THE ROCK SCHOOL*: If you want to learn how to turn and jump, the Rock School is the place to go. If you want to train towards the YAGP, this is a great place to be, not only for the education but the resources the Rock offers. (website)
- BALLET ACADEMY EAST*: Clean technique is key, and if you want to be in NYC this is the CPYB equivalent. (Website)
- HOUSTON BALLET SCHOOL: Can you turn? Houston Ballet is the place to go if you can already turn… They are known for taking amazing turners and technicians into their summer programs. (Website)
- MIAMI CITY BALLET SCHOOL: Want to dance at the beach? Miami City Ballet is the place to go. It is also a great option for those who didn’t get into SAB, meaning… You have the chance to still dance Balanchine… (website)
- NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA: Bangin program, have yet to see someone come back a mess. Students learn a lot of constraint here, which is nice these days. (website)
- ALONZO KING’S LINES BALLET SCHOOL: an amazing program for dancers who are looking for finishing their technique with artistic nuances. Not recommended for younger students. Goes to age 24. (website)
- PARIS OPERA BALLET SCHOOL : a newer program, but arguably POBS offers some of the best training in the world, if not the best classical ballet training. (website)
- BALLET CHICAGO*: For young students who don’t have a Balanchine teacher at home, but are looking/hoping to go to SAB… It is a great place to start. (website)
*Does NOT have a professional company attached, but known for world class training.
Questions I get asked…
Why ABT isn’t on the list? It is no secret that ABT is a money making powerhouse when it comes to summer programs… Just like Joffrey… They offer tons of summer programs to accommodate the most kids possible. With that being said, it isn’t that the programs are bad… But if the goal is to become a professional dancer, you need to be seen where it counts… Which means if you don’t get into ABT NY or Joffrey Midwest… you are wasting your time…
Can I train with you this summer? This summer, yes. For more information please email me by clicking here.
What does it mean if you don’t get into any of these programs? It doesn’t mean you won’t go professional, there are tons of programs from regional programs like State Street and smaller programs like Kansas City and Milwaukee that are great programs… Unfortunately, they aren’t the powerhouses that are listed above. I am sure they are great programs, I just haven’t experienced them myself. Maybe soon, I will be able to travel and check them all out.
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