Danseur Ignoble: Summer Intensive — It’s Not Too Late! (Maybe.)

If you’re a dancer, an adult (or adult-esque … or, at any rate, at least 18 years old), and you’ve always wanted to do a Summer Intensive but have never had the chance, take heart!  A small but slowly growing cadre of programs offer SI experiences for you!   (And, I hope, for me!)

While this year is a non-starter for me (I’m scheduling a surgery over the summer, and by the time I’m recovered, we’ll be off to Burning Man, where I’m apparently running what we’ll call a “Summer Relaxive” — I’ll cover that in its own post), I’m planning to attend and review as many of these as I can in coming years.   For now, though, if you have some vacation time coming your way and haven’t already made plans, here are a couple of links to get you started.

These programs can fill up fast, but you might still have time to grab a spot.

I’ll continue to update this list as I find reputable programs.

Summer Intensives for Adult Dancers

Boston Ballet
When: August 3 – 14
Where: Boston, MA
Duration: 2 Weeks
Schedule: Evenings,  6:30 – 9 PM
Housing: Make your own arrangements
Tuition: Unknown; will try to find out
Performance Opportunities: Unknown; will try to find out

Boston Ballet’s program could be a great option for anyone who wants to combine a ballet camp experience with a New England vacation adventure.   Since classes take place in the evening, you’ll have the daytime hours free to explore historic Boston and the surrounding area.   This might make Boston Ballet’s program a good fit for dancers who need to combine ballet camp with a family trip.

Boston Ballet’s Program would also be a great choice for people who live in the Boston metro, of course.

Pros:
Affiliated with an established company with a strong pre-pro school.
Hours of instruction allow dancers to combine vacation adventures with Intensive ballet training.
Two weeks’ practice, 2.5 hours per day, offers an excellent opportunity to create lasting improvements in technique

Cons:
You must make your own housing arrangements.
Two weeks in Boston could theoretically be expensive!
Not everyone will be able to take two whole weeks off in a row.

Sun King Dance
When: Varies
Where: Richmond, VA; Saratoga, NY; Vancouver, WA; Waldorf, MD
Duration: 5 – 7 Days
Schedule: Days, approximately 9 AM –  6 PM; varies with individual program and track chosen
Housing: Sun King makes group-rate arrangements with nearby hotels and provides roommate-matching
Tuition: $730 –  $1025; varies by program and track; lunch included.   Housing not included.
Performance Opportunities: Yes, except Waldorf program

Sun King is the Grand Matriarch of adult summer intensives. 

Now in its fourteenth (fifteenth?) year, Sun King has built an excellent reputation and offers several different programs.  Dancers can choose short-day, all-ballet, or full-day tracks.   The short-day options offer a few more free hours in the afternoon for dancers who might like to get out and explore, while the full-day option adds restorative sessions and additional stretch classes.

Curriculum includes a number of elements that adult dancers often miss out on, like character dance, pas de deux (my tablet’s autocorrupt really wants this to be “pas de derp!”) , and men’s technique.

Perks include rate agreements with local hotels, roommate-matching (optional; you can room solo if you wish), lunch included with tuition, and the real highlight for me — a chance to perform (or, at the Waldorf program, a chance to see a world-class performance).

Pros
Well-established program with an excellent reputation
Roommate-matching makes housing more affordable
Lunch included (dancers gotta eat!)
Performance opportunity!

Cons
Not as family-trip friendly (you can bring your non-dancers, but they’ll have to fend for themselves!)
Only one week long (le sigh!)
Spaces are limited, so you need to register early!

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About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2015/03/05, in balllet and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Would love to go to one of the Sun King camps before I get too old, but the window of opportunity is closing. Roughly about half of my vacation is devoted to performing with the pre pro school company, and the other to family vacation time. It’s a two-edged sword. I’d pretty much would have to cut down on performing to go.

    • That’s a tough spot to be in. Even without considering family time (which is important!), Sun King versus performing would be a tough call for me — I think I’d probably choose the opportunity to perform, myself.

      That’s the one thing that’s seriously lacking around here — performance opportunities for non-professional ballet dancers who aren’t pre-pro students. One of my longer-term goals (if we stay in Louisville) is to create some, even if we only ever wind up performing on the nursing home circuit!

      • The one plus of going to a pre-pro school where the male dancer population is low is that you tend to get drafted for every story ballet the company performs.

  2. Love ballet. I started at the age of 3 and went on for years all the way into 2 years of toe. After that, the next step was to compete or goto a special school which I was not interested in. Would love to get back into it.

    • I have been very surprised how good it’s been for me to start dancing again (that’s what led to my decision to pursue a career in Dance-Movement Therapy). If you have the resources to start taking class again, there’s a great website called Ballet Talk For Dancers where the adult students’ board can be a great resource for finding good adult classes.

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