Time to Start Thinking About Summer Intensives


February 28, 2015 by Nicole

As winter draws to a close, it can only mean 2 things: Spring Break is upon us & it’s audition time for summer intensive programs.

How do you know you’re ready for a summer intensive?
Do you feel the want/need to dance for at least 5 hours a day, then wake up at 8 am the next day to do it all again? Do you want to intensely focus on your technique without other distractions? Do you want to explore new/different styles of dance with new/different teachers?

If you (or your dancer) can confidently answer yes to these questions, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to consider an intensive program.

As I’ve shared before, there are lots of reasons to consider a summer intensive program. Here are 4 of my favorites:

  1. It can be a time to slow down and focus on your technique outside of the school year, when you can arrive/start your day fresh and unencumbered by homework or other demands/commitments.
  2. It’s a great way to push yourself by trying different styles of dance, learning choreography that’s different from what you’re used to and performing in new environments. You’ll also get the benefit of seeing professional dancers first hand, in class or as instructors.
  3. Are you considering a professional career? A summer program can give you a sneak peek of the training and intensity required to do so. It can also be a place to make professional connections with the faculty as well as your peers.
  4. It can be a way to get your foot in the door – there are many professional schools that also use these programs to find prospective students for their school year, kind of like a very long audition. On the other side, it’s a way for the dancer to see if that school or company is a good fit & somewhere they want to be long-term.


There are hundreds of summer dance intensives offered across the U.S. every year, each with its own unique combination of setting, faculty and experiences offered. These programs also vary widely in their focus, from ballet to jazz to modern to musical theatre. A quick Google search will pull up results close to you, if you aren’t interested in traveling or can show you the breadth of options available if you are thinking about spending the summer away from home.

Additionally, if you’re not quite ready to study away from home, summer programs are likely being held in your home studios. The Center for Contemporary Dance will be offering a summer intensive along with a musical theatre dance camp this summer. These programs are a fantastic opportunity to try a summer program in a familiar area and still experience the benefits of an intensive.

Are you participating in a summer intensive? When did you know you were ready?

One thought on “Time to Start Thinking About Summer Intensives

  1. […] can also find out why summer programs are a good idea or learn more about the CCD summer dance intensive and musical theatre dance […]

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