Thursday, March 24, 2011

Summer Dance Camps

I’ve learned so much about the great things the Upper Valley has to offer the youth in the area for summer camps.  As you may have read in our blogs, the area has camps  for sports, the outdoors, the visual arts, and camps with a creative spin all their own. There is no reason for any child to have a boring summer!
And there’s still more. If dancing is what your child loves to do there are a bunch of options for them as well. We showcase three here today.

Photo courtesy of Creative Movement School of Dance

The Lebanon Ballet School is offering a summer intensive June 20 through August 19 on week days from 9am until the evenings. This training is geared to young dancers, ages seven and up, interested in improving their skills. The classes include Ballet, Pointe, Variations, Repertoire, Jazz, Modern, Pilates, even strength training in a pool, to name a few. There will be a performance workshop as well.
Lebanon Ballet School staff will be joined by guest teachers throughout the summer. From June 20 through July 1 Leslie Peck will be teaching with the school. Leslie is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. She has a very impressive dance resume. Leslie was trained by dancer Andre Eglevsky and the School of American Ballet. She joined the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, and danced for many other ballets in the United States as well as abroad. She is a recognized authority on Balanchine ballets, and is authorized to stage Balanchine ballets by the Balanchine Trust.
Over the duration of the summer Marianne Handy Hraibi will be teaching Martha Graham modern tech. Marianne graduated from the Boston Conservatory and has a Masters degree in Globalization from Dartmouth College. Her professional associations include the companies of Paul Taylor, Yuriko, and Richard Englund. She has taught at many professional dance studios and performed, taught, and choreographed internationally at Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain, all as a “guest” of the government. These two great guest instructors will be joined by other professionals yet to be determined.
Lebanon Ballet school director Linda Copp is most proud of the teachers that the students get to learn from. Most students involved cannot afford to attend programs like this intensive outside of the area, she said, so Lebanon City Ballet brings the teachers to them! Registration for this program begins on April 4 and can be found on the Lebanon Ballet School website, http://www.nccs.biz/lebanonballetschool/index.php

Dancers’ Corner in White River Junction and Grantham is another local ballet school which will be holding a camp this summer. There will be week long camps available for children ages seven to 12 to learn the basics of dance. Preschoolers have half day camps available to them, and there will be intensive camps for more experienced dancers. Having a great time is the goal of these camps!
“The idea is to learn new things each day while having fun,” said Diana Seaver, an instructor. “Regular classes are about repetition to perfect technique. That takes time, but at camp we hope that you walk away with the idea.”
Diana said the goal is to expose campers to dance, dancers, and dances. Her favorite camp story is when a camper joined Dancers’ Comer two years after taking the camp. When they went to teach this former camper a dance, she remembered many details from stories they told at the camp.  Information on these camps is not available yet, but can be found after March 28th at http://www.dancerscorner.net.
Creative Movement School of Dance (CMSD) in West Lebanon offers summer camps for children as young as three and as old as 18. Tammi DeFelice of CMSD said "the dance camps have been compared to the intensity of a sleep over dance intensive without the stress of leaving home.” The camps allow children to dig deeper into the world of dance than a school season class will allow while learning from teachers with degrees (or working towards degrees) in dance education.
New this year is a preschool camp for three to six-year-olds two half days a week (Tuesday & Thursday). This camp will introduce young children to dance with plenty of exercising, listening, socializing and staying active, "which is what all children this age need," said Tammi.  These littlest campers will not be taking part in a performance, but It sounds like a lot of fun will be had!  The camp for four to seven year olds will also be half days, but will be held every day of the week with a performance for family and friends at the end of the week. Tammi said this would be a great camp to prepare children for dance class in the fall, or help a student who had a hard time taking in class information.

Children ages 8 and up are able to attend camp all day for a week at a time and are at camp with the younger children.  Each group has their own special activities, but also learn to work with multiple ages.  The younger students love interacting with the students in the eight to 15 year old camp.  

CMSD also offers a three week camp for students who really want to be immersed in putting a show together.  They are involved in sewing costumes, choreographing pieces, assisting in classes, and they also take some very intensive dance classes themselves.  The students are involved from 8am to 6pm and at the end of the three week program they walk away feeling so accomplished and empowered.    
At CMSD children may find an interest in the performing arts that they didn’t know they had. Not only are they learning about dance, they spend their down time with age appropriate crafts and art, sewing, painting, and also "good old fashioned playing." 

“The students put on a show at the end of the summer that is all their own,” Tammi said.  They learn about the different aspects that go into a production.  It is the students that have created the costumes, chosen the music, done the choreography, and chosen the subject of the show. 
“Learning something five days in a row is exponentially better than spacing it out by the week,” Tammi said.

Tammi adds, "Even if a child is not specifically interested in becoming a dancer, these camps are so much more than dance.  It happens to be that about 5 hours of the full day is set aside for dance classes, but the camps are about empowering the children and teaching them collaboration and social skills that many adults lack in everyday work atmospheres."
Complete summer camp information and registration information for the camps at CMSD can be found on their website at http://www.creativemovement.net.
Better get your child’s dancing shoes out now for for these camps!



This post was written by our bi-weekly guest contributor, Anna Super.  Anna is a freelance writer, taking on projects as varied as magazine stories to entertain readers, and copy writing projects that help businesses and organizations connect their products and services to their customers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism from Keene State College, and was a staff reporter at the former newspapers The Connecticut Valley Spectator and the Argus Champion. Anna can be reached at Anna.Super01@gmail.com.

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