Summer is a great time to make new friends, broaden your horizons and get tons of dancing in at a summer intensive. As you get closer to college-age, it can also be a great time to get valuable information and extra training that can come in handy later when you're thinking about college auditions. With 19 summer programs running throughout the U.S. (plus a ballet intensive in Genoa, Italy, and a musical theater intensive in London), Joffrey Ballet School offers a wide variety of experiences that give you both top-notch dance training and a taste of what college life will be like:


1. An insane amount of choices.

Whether you're looking for intense training in one style or trying to branch out and work on your versatility, Joffrey Ballet School has at least one program that fits the bill. For eight weeks every summer, they have 400 instructors and 35 studios running across all their summer programs combined. You could find yourself studying musical theater alongside Broadway dancers in NYC, zeroing in on classical or contemporary ballet in programs across the U.S., or dancing hip hop in L.A. Maybe you want to try something totally different? JBS' newest program partners with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, where you'll learn acrobatics and circus dance from Cirque's performers and trainers.

2. You can craft your own summer schedule.

After you audition and are accepted, you can mix and match which programs you attend throughout the summer and create a whole roster of experiences—not unlike setting up your course schedule in college. For instance, if you audition for ballet, your acceptance grants you access to all 10 JBS ballet programs, from the flagship New York City program to the contemporary ballet intensive in San Francisco, to programs in Colorado, Kansas, Georgia and Miami. Many students choose to attend a few programs, spending one or two weeks at each one depending on their schedules and interests.

3. They offer college credit and scholarships.

Every summer, the school grants $2 million in scholarships. For college-bound students or those already in school, every program also offers college credit at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. If you attend any program for two weeks, you get one credit; three weeks are worth two credits. Students who take multiple JBS intensives over a number of summers can accumulate up to 30 credits total.

4. You'll see what it's really like to live on a college campus.

JBS partners with colleges and universities across the country, so for most of their programs you'll be living in college dorms, eating from a meal plan and taking classes in the college's studios. In many of the programs, you'll also perform in the schools' state-of-the-art theaters.

5. You'll network with master dance artists.

The intensives feature live music in class, and instructors who are at the top of their field. In the ballet programs, master faculty have included Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden, Allison DeBona, Beckanne Sisk and Chrystyn Fentroy, among many others.

The musical theater intensives partner with a different Broadway show each week. Dancers are taught by the cast, then get to see the show and go backstage at the end of the week. They meet agents and producers, and learn from top vocal coaches.

In the hip hop programs in L.A., Vegas and New York, students learn from artists who have performed in music videos, and then get the opportunity to dance in one themselves. These master faculty members are people you may find yourself auditioning for later—or taking class from in college.

6. You'll get individualized attention in class.

Even if you've experienced stellar guest faculty before, chances are it was in a convention setting, with hundreds of dancers crammed into a ballroom. Here, classes max out at 25 people—as they often do in college and conservatory programs—so you'll get a sense of what a smaller, more intimate class setting feels like. Instructors learn every student's name, and offer individual corrections in each class.

The Conversation
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