Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Intensives Updates

Kate B

Recommended Posts

Hi there, I've just done a search for summer intensives as I'm thinking about next year already...


And I was thinking, perhaps we need to update what we've got in terms of information, since quite a few of us have been going on intensives all over the US and Europe (sorry if you're not in the US or Europe and I've missed you out!)


Basically, I thought it would be quite nice if we could write up the ones we've been to all in one single thread so that there's lots of information for adult-specific dance intensives.


Also, ideally, I'd like to go to the Martha Graham Center next year, but a year ago I gave up flying for environmental reasons, so I was looking for alternatives in Europe. You can get most places by train or boat in less than 24 hours, while the boat to New York takes 6 days and I don't get that much time off work!


I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good intensive that has contemporary as well as ballet. The problem is, I am not very advanced, so when I've been looking at various European intensives they tend to say you need to be pro or pre-pro and I am so never going to be that good...!


And here's my intensive review - it's for The Place in London, where I've been going for a few years now.


This summer I took Graham Technique with Nya Bowman of the Martha Graham Center and Contemporary with Francesca McCarthy. I had such a good time and learnt a great deal. I have posted some stuff about it on The Winger. The Place intensives are good because there are always 2 ballet classes a day for 3 weeks, plus contemporary every day in four levels and many different styles are taught. Each class costs about £50 for a week, so if you do two classes a day for 2 weeks it costs about £200. Besides classes there are film showings and live performances from the various workshops, including that of the Richard Alston workshop, which is really interesting. There's also massage available, which really helped!


Every time I've taken an intensive here I've noticed how my technique has improved and how strong I get in a relatively short space of time. The teachers are all excellent and they get some great people in from companies and schools around the world.


I hope other people think that doing a thread like this is a good idea - I hope to hear about your experiences soon! :green:

Link to comment

Thanks for this, Kate B., it's really interesting - I've mentally noted The Place for Easter & Summer if I can ever take some time off.


How did you find the atmosphere for a non-pro adult dancer? sometimes studios can be a bit daunting ... how was The Place in that respect?


I don't have an SI to report on, but the "extra" summer classes (2 per week at intermediate level) are now in full swing at the DanceXchange studios in central Birmingham. They're not organised by DanceXchange but use the DanceXchange's beautiful studios in the Hippodrome. A mix of teachers, who are all very challenging and encouraging, and a mix of students from skinny bunhead teenagers, to 60 year olds.

Link to comment

Levels 1-3 at the Place are for non-pros, level 4 is for pros. The range in the classes in terms of level and ability is therefore quite narrow and everyone is quite the same. A lot of people in the classes I've done seem to be people who work full time, who take a week or two off to do the classes. There are all ages, from 16 to probably around 60, but I'd say most people were in their mid 20s - early 30s in the levels I do, 2 and 3. In my classes there was a 46-year old who had was entering her final year of a BA in dance. Dance really is for all!


The dress code is very relaxed as well, since it's a contemporary school, so you can wear trousers if you're not comfortable in just a leo and tights.


The atmosphere is very friendly and, depending on who teaches you, you may just end up in the pub across the road at the end of the day with your classmates and a teacher or two!

Link to comment

THanks - definitely one to keep in mind. And I enjoyed the pictures on your blog - brought back very happy memories of my Graham classes, and yes, I can feel the pain of some of those moves even now!

Link to comment

Glad you liked them. :green:


It may be painful, but it really does feel like it is doing something good. :shrug:

Link to comment

I spent a week in July at a dance camp in eastern Finland, called Sukset ristiin susirajalla. I had a wonderful week :) and would definitely recommend the camp to anyone interested in dancing more than ballet. Teaching was in Finnish, but I don't think language would be an insurmountable obstacle since such a lot of people speak English pretty well here.


The schedule included six subjects - ballet, modern, flamenco, folk dance, voice and rhythm - and offered three levels in each for adults (plus one for children). The most advanced level consisted largely of pre-pro students in various dance disciplines, with a smattering of pros and a number of recreational dancers along. Classes began at 9am and continued till 9pm, so that everyone could choose the classes they liked. (I took two modern classes, two voice classes, and one each of rhythm, ballet and folk.)


I took the middle level in ballet, which I'd call adv beg or easy intermediate. The teacher, Jarmo Rastas, was absolutely wonderful, focusing largely on placement, breathing and the flow of the movement. There was no pointe or repertoire included, even for the most advanced level. I'd say this is not the best intensive to pick if you want to focus on ballet, but the ballet provided a good solid foundation for the schedule.


There was no end performance as such, though a few demos were done at the end. The camp was very well organized, very reasonably priced, and there was a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.

Link to comment

I went to Sammatti dance camp again this year, and had wonderful time. :yes:


The camp is 8 days long, in the beginning of August. It is held in Sammatti, a tiny town in southern Finland, in the middle of nature. The camp price includes lodging and food. The next year's dates will be 3-11.8. 2007.


This year there were two levels; one for intermediate to upper intermediate students, and one for advanced students.


The Sammatti schedule works out to about 6 hours each day between 9am and 6pm, except for one afternoon which is free. In the morning are ballet technique classes and classes in another dance form that changes each year. This year we had creative dance. In the afternoon there are rehearsals for the end performance and stretching classes.


Ballet and repertoire teaching were both in English, as the teachers (Eric Viudes and Dinna Björn) do not speak Finnish. The creative dance, some of the rehearsing for the character dances for the end performance and stretching were in Finnish; although I think the teacher, Sirpa Laakso, also speaks English.


There is an end performance. This year we did a shortened (40 minutes) version of Napoli.



Link to comment

Miss Laakso definately should speak English, even a little German- I know her as I used to go to the same class at the same high school for a while when she was in Germany! We were not attending the same ballet school though.

Link to comment

Shulie, do you know of any good intensives for adults in Germany? Particularly Berlin?

Link to comment

Hi, Yes I have been thinking about revamping the old one..although it feels like I only just did that!

I normally have to trawl through all the SI posts and pick out relevant bits, which takes a bit of time and keeping it all up-to-date is quite a task. But I normally wait until the SI period has passed i.e. Sept/oct before I update it otherwise I could be updating it every week!

If you have any relevant info/websites then do post them to me, and these will go onto the sticky Adult Intensive bit.



Link to comment

Xena that would be so useful - since this year there's been the new intensive people have been doing in London, and a lot more people have been to Richmond now.


To help you out, I'll have a bit of a trawl and see if I can PM you a list.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I'd really love to hear from people who have been to adult summer programs in the US. Much as I'd love to travel to the UK, it will probably be a while before I can afford to! Would anyone who went to the program in Richmond care to weigh in? I got a little bit of a sense what it might have been like from the sticky on it, but I don't even know where it was offered. I checked the Richmond Ballet's site for info, but didn't see anything about summer programs (perhaps because they've gotten rid of the info now that it's over). I want to start researching my options for next summer ASAP.

Link to comment

Adult Dance Camps- soon to be Sun King Dance-runs the adult summer intensives at the Richmond Ballet facility. (It is NOT a Richmond Ballet program which is why there is no info on their website.) Info on the 3 sessions that took place this year is still available at www.adultdancecamps.com.


It's a wonderful program and well worth attending!

Link to comment

Went to my first ballet camp ever and totally loved it!!!! I went to "Adult Dance Camp" through Sun King Dance at Richmond Ballet. Check it out at http://www.adultdancecamps.com/


I had the time of my life. The first day was a nervous day...the dreaded placement class. But it wasn't that bad here. Everyone is so relaxed and supportive. You place yourself into a level with Heidi's help individually. Then you try the class and the teacher and Heidi will replace you if necessary. No numbers, no judges, no problem!


The price is right, the location is good and near things to do in Richmond, and the facility is immaculate, modern, clean, and inspiring. We ran upstairs to watch the Richmond Ballet Company rehersing! So awesome.


The schedule is no problem if you are generally active. I take class pretty regularly and had not problem with the transition to a full day schedule. I also pumped out at full blast in every class holding nothing back and could still make it through the whole day.


You start with 2-3 classes at check in day. Then Monday, Wed, and Friday is technique, pointe, pirouettes, lunch, repetory, specialty (jazz, modern, character), stretch. Tues, Thurs is technique, pointe, variations, lunch, repetory, partnering. Sat is warm-up, performance (with practice built in). That isn't the exact schedule, but it gives you an idea (for instance partnering was Thursday and Friday). You can take the pointe class in soft shoes and get mucho outta that, too.


ADC also brings in guest male dancers (members from the company, university, and surrounding area) to partner all the women students. If you end up performing with an ADC student, then you go twice (once with the male student and once with the guest men). I can't believe I have never done partnering before and was only so-so en pointe and I did the pas de deux from Le Corssaire (modified slightly)! You totally can, too! We all did!


They ACTUALLY have you perform real variations! and real partnering pas de duex! I couldn't believe that we were taken that seriously and trusted to be able to pull it together during the week with all our classes. And everyone was able to pull it together. It was amazing to feel a show come together in such a short period of time. It was also amazing to cheer on your friends!


Here's what we did for breakfast...we went to the market via free hotel shuttle. We bought instant oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, fruit for snacks during the day, yogurt, and vitamin water cause plain water gets old. There is a refridgerator in the hospitality suite and you can rent one for the week for a tiny fee. All that was totally worth it and hit the spot! We even stopped in town for bannanas, bengay and ice packs! Boy were we a sight.


I can't wait to go again and again!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...