Joffrey Ballet School

What is a Summer Dance Intensive

The summer dance intensive is a rite of passage for dancers of high school and college age.

But what is an intensive, and how does it benefit you as a dancer, student and person to attend one of these rigorous programs?

What is a Summer Dance Intensive?

A summer dance intensive is typically held during summer break for young dancers between the ages of about 8 and 25.

The idea behind a summer dance intensive is to provide a rigorous and demanding period of dance training during the summer months. You’ll spend your days immersed in dance – receiving instruction, gaining strength, observing professional dancers in action either by attending performances or training alongside them. 

The intensive is likely to be one of the most memorable and valuable parts of your dance education. How do summer dance intensives benefit dancers?

benefits of summer dance intensive

Benefits of Summer Dance Intensives

A summer dance intensive is typically a multi-week program that includes advanced instruction in various elements of dance necessary for you to advance as an artist. During the intensive, you will work alongside 20 – 30 other students, receiving instruction from professional level instructors. 

At Joffrey Ballet School, we offer intensives for students from beginning or intermediate, up through advanced, Pre-Professional and Professional. All students learn from the same instructors and receive correction at least three times per class.

We offer intensives in

We also offer unique intensives such as our Musical Theatre intensive which focuses on performance arts and Broadway and our Cirque du Soleil intensive which trains in circus arts such as acrobatics, aerial, juggling and cultural dance in Las Vegas.

Think it sounds rigorous? It is! You will gain bodily strength, flexibility and muscle memory while improving your technique, artistry and performance skills. It’s instruction that far surpasses what you may have experienced previously. You will be working very hard: all day, every day!

You’ll be learning from the very best in the business. At Joffrey we spend more than $1,000,000 on our dance instruction each summer and expose our students to some of the world’s leading dance professionals and performers. 

Dance intensives are held in a wide variety of locations but many of the best are held in cities with a strong dance presence. At Joffrey, our intensives are held in New York, Las Vegas and many other cities across the country. We even offer a one-week intensive in London. Studying dance in cities like these allows you to see performances by leading dance companies, while honing your own skills as a dancer.

Summer dance intensives are also about identifying talent and making connections. Dancers are selected through an audition process that can be quite rigorous. Joffrey holds auditions in locations across the country as well as internationally. We even accept recorded, digital auditions so that we can select from the most talented pool of dancers. 

We also provide more than $2,000,000 in scholarships each year to ensure that financial concerns don’t prevent talented dancers from attending our programs.

Summer Dance Intensive is About Growth 

It’s not just the quality of instruction and independent living that makes a summer dance intensive so beneficial for young dancers. The structure and time spent in rigorous training also leads to growth. Summer dance intensive students are immersed in dance nearly full time, attending 4 or 5 classes per day. Strength, flexibility and technique improve in a very short period of time.

You’ll probably also do some growing up. Because there’s often travel involved, a summer dance intensive is many young dancers’ first experience living away from home for an extended period. While some dancers may commute from home, those who travel will live in dorms with at least one other dancer, often for weeks at a time. It’s a little like college: dorm students are chaperoned, but live semi-independently. 

As a summer dance intensive student at Joffrey Ballet School, you’ll have performance opportunities and the opportunity to observe live productions by the best dance companies around the country. Performing in and observing shows in an instructional setting helps expand your knowledge and understanding of dance in all its forms and will inspire you to set goals for your future in dance.

You’ll also become better at auditioning; a key skill for any dancer. Admissions are selective for most summer dance intensives. The audition process itself leads to growth. You’ll have a specific goal for which you must prepare and receive valuable feedback during the process.

Summer dance intensives also offer the opportunity to specialize in your favorite dance discipline, such as ballet, or to broaden your horizons by trying new dance forms such as hip hop, jazz or contemporary dance, musical theater, tap and more. 

These few weeks of relative independence and rigorous study lead to personal growth, while the opportunity to live and study with students like you who are passionate about dance leads to deep friendships and lifelong relationship development. And it all happens in just a few weeks’ time!

It’s for these reasons and more that the summer dance intensive has become such a valuable tool in so many dancers’ education and training.

The best way, however, to really understand what a summer dance intensive is and how it can benefit you is to experience one for yourself. We encourage you to audition for one of Joffrey’s life-changing summer dance intensives!

Avatar JBS Admin (30 Posts)

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.


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Author: JBS Admin

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.

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