Joffrey Ballet School

Summer Ballet Intensive vs Summer Ballet Camp – How Do They Compare?

When you’re considering dance-related activities for your summer break, there are two main options you can consider: summer ballet intensives and summer dance camps. Both can be a great way to spend time this summer. But which will take you further with your dance training?

If you’re considering these two options, you’re probably wondering “how does a summer dance intensive compare to summer ballet camp?” Let’s compare these options and consider them in terms of your goals as a dancer.

Summer Ballet Intensive or Summer Ballet Camp?

How would you rather spend your time this summer? Working part time on dance while engaging in other activities such as canoeing or camping? Or being fully immersed in dance, taking multiple dance classes during the day, watching great dance performances in the evening, and meeting other dancers just as dedicated to their art as you?

The answer to the above questions will depend a great deal on your goals as a dancer and where you are in your development. If you’re a beginner to intermediate dancer who enjoys learning about dance but isn’t ready to dedicate yourself to your art just yet, a summer ballet camp might be a great way to spend a few weeks this summer.

But if you’re a more advanced dancer or want to make big advances in your dance styles and or just really want to be challenged than a summer dance intensive is perfect for you. Many dancers dream of dancing professionally or semi-professionally and summer intensives put you much closer to that goal. At Joffrey our summer dance intensives have beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pre-professional levels. This really allows any dancer who truly wants to be immersed in dance to be taken to the next level in their artistry.

A Day in the Life at Summer Ballet Intensive (AGES 10 – 25)

There are a number of significant differences between a summer ballet intensive and summer ballet camp, beginning with the admissions process. Admissions to a summer ballet intensive are competitive; dancers are selected by audition. At the Joffrey, our auditions are held in major cities around the world, and for those unable to travel, video auditions are also available.

Once admitted, a typical day at a summer ballet intensive begins early. You’ll wake up in your dorm room, which you’ll most likely share with at least one other dancer. The dorm accommodations are typically similar to – or actually are – college dorm rooms. You’ll need to dress in your dance uniform and grab breakfast early enough to digest it before classes begin at 9am. You’ll be in class until 4:30, with a break for a light lunch or snack. 

Classes in a summer ballet intensive are taught by highly reputable dance professionals from top ballet schools and dance companies. Courses could include ballet or pointe technique, partnering, variations in classical dance or repertory. Other dance styles also may be covered, such as modern, character or jazz. And your strength and flexibility will also be developed through classes such as Pilates.

In the evenings, summer ballet intensive students will be able to partake of a range of activities. Of particular interest will be the opportunity to attend professional dance performances by some of the world’s best companies. Other cultural opportunities will also abound, depending on the location of your intensive.

A summer ballet intensive typically lasts at least two weeks, and can last as long as seven weeks depending on the intensive. Because students are living independently in a dorm room situation, the Joffrey has superb meals plans on campus unlike any other summer intensive. The Joffrey also have Chaperones and RA’s supervision after class to ensure the safety and security of the dancers well being. Generally, an intensive is more suitable for dancers between the ages of 10 and 25; from middle or high school to college or pre-professional dancers. However, we have seen many dancers begin as early as 8 years of age and do very well in the programs.

Summer Ballet Camp – A Different Experience (AGES 3-7)

A summer ballet camp, on the other hand, is a completely different type of experience. Summer ballet camp is much more like a traditional summer camp. Campers register in advance, but no auditions are required to be admitted.This is much less stressful on the younger dancer and their parents. At Joffrey we employ the same high level of educators at the Camps as we do at the intensives.

At Joffrey they may also have opportunities to attend field trips, some of which may include theater or dance performances. The dancers still have superb opportunities to perform and have a similar experience to the dance intensive but with a softer mothering touch.

How Does a Summer Ballet Intensive Compare to Summer Ballet Camp?

Simply put, a summer ballet intensive is a more rigorous immersion in dance for more focused and serious dancers. A summer ballet camp is a fun introduction to dance for younger students with less dance background. These are some of the differences to consider when asking how a summer ballet intensive compares to summer ballet camp. 

The difference between the two is in the experience and benefits that are being offered. A summer ballet intensive is a significant part of a dancer’s education and can further their preparation for a dance career. A summer ballet camp, on the other hand, is a fun opportunity for younger or less experienced and committed dancers to learn more about dance while having fun away from home. The experience that’s right for you will depend on your progression, focus and goals as a dancer.

Learn more about Joffrey Ballet School’s summer ballet intensives in NYC, San Francisco, Georgia, Colorado, Miami and Tampa. 

Avatar JBS Admin (50 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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