It’s that time of year again…time to audition for summer dance intensives. I feel quite removed from the process this year because Julian will be handling it by himself in New York. He’s made his own decisions about which intensives he wants to attend, and he will sign up and audition on his own as well. He will do all of this from New York, since all of the major schools hold their auditions at the School of American Ballet (SAB).
Now, as I write this I’m thinking… “Hmmm. Wonder if there’s a deadline? Wonder if he needs to actually send in a registration form and fee? Maybe we need to do all of this together when he gets home.” Yes, the likelihood is that I will help him at least get registered for the auditions if they are not open auditions–or if SAB doesn’t have some arrangement with these schools.
Julian plans to audition for Pacific Northwest, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. He is not allowed to attend the SAB summer intensive again now that he is in the school. (I mentioned a bit more about Julian’s choices in this post.) And he no longer has a desire to go back to American Ballet Theatre (ABT).
For those of you who have no idea where to start, who are still looking or who would like some help, last year I put together The Summer Dance Intensive Handbook. I know that choosing the right summer dance program and preparing for it can prove a stressful experience for parents and dancers. So, I took all my experience and the interviews I’ve done that relate to the topic and compiled them all into this handbook ,which offers practical advice for parents and dancers so they make the right choice, prepare appropriately, conduct themselves well, stay healthy, and learn as much as possible while enjoying themselves as well.
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Attending a summer dance intensive was the best thing Julian ever did to advance his dancing and change his attitude about dance. After his first summer at ABT, he became much more serious and motivated. I highly recommend boys attend one. Plus, it may be the first time they get to be in class with 15-30 other boys their age. That, in and of itself, is worth the experience. The camaraderie and friendly competition between the boys can’t be recreated anywhere else (except maybe in the year-long programs). It pushes them along much faster than anything else. In fact, I’d attribute Julian’s advancement over the summer to being in the boys’ classes more than anything else.
There are lot’s of great summer dance intensives for boys. I highly recommend those affiliated with ballet companies, if your son is focused on ballet. If not, choose a regional program that offers many styles. I’ve not mentioned it before, but Debbie Allen has a high-quality program we always hoped to have Julian attend down in Los Angeles, and it covers all styles (hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary)–and has top notch ballet instructors as well. If your son is into tap, follow the tap festivals around all summer. These can be a great learning experience with some of the top tappers around. Julian used to love going to the San Francisco Tap Festival and we had hoped to make it to the LA Festival but never did.
Dance abounds all summer. Just because your regular dance school may be closed, don’t let that stop your son from dancing. See it as an opportunity to take his dancing to the next level by enrolling him in a summer dance intensive–even if it means taking the leap and letting him go away from home for a few weeks.