5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Summer Intensive for You

By now, you finished most of your auditions and have heard back from most of your programs.

Some of you know exactly where you want to go. But many of you are still not sure which program is best for you.

Here are some things to consider to narrow down your choices:

  1. Consider location: Going out-of-state for an intensive can be intimidating for dancers and parents. Make sure you are comfortable going away especially because most programs only allow a limited amount of contact with parents. A couple things to consider in choosing a location are:

Housing: Some programs offer housing on the campus, some are off campus, and some don’t offer them at all. Consider what makes sense for your comfort level. Also, a location where you have family may ease the transition.

Activities: What are some outside activities the dancers will experience? Consider the entire experience. Some California programs will give dancers the opportunity to go to Disneyland. Summer intensives are just as much about experience as it is training.

  1. Consider cost: Intensives can cost thousands of dollars for a few weeks. This can be a huge deterrent for many families. But don’t rule out the chance for this experience just because of cost. Consider programs that cost less than others, that are closer to home and are fewer weeks. Another great way to raise money is to launch a fundraising campaign. There are companies that offer fundraising opportunities like See’s Candy (selling chocolate bars for half the profit). Set up a Go-Fund-Me account to raise money from friends and family who support you.
  2. Consider style of training: Your home studio teaches a particular style of dance, but going away to summer intensives can be a fantastic way to explore other styles. Consider expanding your ballet knowledge by attending a program that trains in a less familiar style. Research the ballet training of the programs. Balanchine? Vaganova? Cecchetti? You may fall in love with a particular style.
  3. Consider regional programs: Most prestigious dance companies offer summer intensives. But be careful not to be enamored by the name. While you may get great exposure from these programs, there are plenty of local and regional programs that could be a great fit. Some advantages to local programs are cost (you may be able to commute, and they are typically less costly than major programs), it is less-intimidating and may offer a more diverse program.
  4. Consider future: Summer intensives are a taste of a rigorous trainee program. You will see if this is the world you want to seriously consider as your career. You may find out if you love or hate a region and the ballet style of a company.

Dance Intensives are exactly what they are called: intensive. Ballerinas know all about hard work and dedication and this embodies the difficult training dancers need to go through to succeed. But secretly, there is nothing else we would rather do and nowhere else we would rather be than right there, at the barre.



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