Ballet Training

Finally: A Summer Program Tailored to the Needs of Second Company Members, Apprentices and Professional Dancers

Dominic Walsh (right) working with Whim W'him. Photo by Bamberg Fine Art Photography, Courtesy Whim W'him.

Summer is the perfect time for busy dancers to get some much-needed rest after a long season. But it's also a good opportunity to hone your technique. Summer training opportunities for professionals are scarce, although the ones that do exist are pretty great. Now, there is a welcome addition on the horizon that we're excited about.

Choreographer and former Houston Ballet principal Dominic Walsh recently announced that he has teamed up with the Colorado Conservatory of Dance to create the Compass Coaching Project, a two-week intensive for dancers over the age of 17. Held June 4–16 in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, the workshop is specially tailored for those in trainee, second company and apprentice positions. "In today's model of a dancer's profession, there is sometimes a long transition between student and professional," Walsh says in a statement. "I believe this is a crucial time for mentorship." Indeed, a dancer's early career is often marked by anxiety and uncertainty as they spend one or more years in low-paid or unpaid junior ranks.


Compass Coaching Project will offer individualized assessment meetings and private coaching sessions in addition to its robust roster of ballet and contemporary classes, plus improvisation, nutrition, rehearsals and Alexander Technique. "I see a need to provide a unique kind of coaching platform where the dancer receives one-on-one attention, while exploring and investigating the craft as an adult, versus a student," says Walsh, who directed his own company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater for 12 years, until 2015. He notes that the program is also open to established professionals in search of inspiration or those who want to develop other sides of their artistry (such as contemporary dance). The workshop will culminate in a performance of a new work by Walsh.

To keep the focus on individualized attention, Compass Coaching Project will be capped at 20 dancers. For more information on how to apply, click here.

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