Joffrey Ballet School

Dance Training & Career Tips

What is the Best Summer Dance Intensive for You?

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What is the Best Summer Dance Intensive for You?

Whether you’re a parent of a dancer or a young dancer yourself, choosing the best summer dance intensive for a beginner, intermediate or advanced level dancer can be a bit challenging. Fortunately, at the Joffrey Ballet School we offer something for everyone, so it’s easy to find a program that is suitable for you as long as you understand some of the criteria you should consider.

What to Consider When Choosing an Intensive

There are several criteria that you should consider when looking for the best summer dance intensive. These include:

  • Location
  • Instruction and training
  • Dance style
  • Maturity, experience and goals

Let’s consider these criteria in more detail.


While not perhaps the most important consideration when selecting a summer dance intensive, the location of your intensive is something that must be considered. At Joffrey Ballet School (JBS), we offer intensives in locations across the country including NYC, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas. Some of our most popular intensives are our New York City dance intensives, but for younger or less experienced dancers, the prospect of spending several weeks away from home might be a daunting one.

Fortunately, we understand the concerns that dancers and parents may have and have worked hard to provide programs that put the safety and welfare of our dancers first at all of our locations. 

All of our programs are structured similarly in terms of housing, food and chaperones for the dancers. Housing is provided in dorms at local universities, with food provided in dining halls near the dorms and between classes. Dancers are chaperoned in groups of five kids at a time to ensure dancers are able to navigate from dorms to meals to class and back again, and even pick them up at the airport to ensure they arrive safely at our program. 

In the dorms, dancers are supervised by resident advisors (RAs) who organize fun activities such as pizza parties, water balloon fights, swimming in the university pool and more to ensure that dancers are having fun in class and out.

It’s important to point out that these safeguards for our summer intensives are even in place for our New York intensives. Ours are the only intensives in New York that are chaperoned to this degree and where meals are provided for the dancers. Most intensives in New York City require dancers to be mature and independent enough to obtain meals and get themselves from their housing accommodations to class on their own, making them suitable mainly for older dancers. 

At Joffrey Ballet School, all of our New York City programs are more closely supervised and housing is provided in secure dorms at local universities such as NYU and Pace University. Because of this, we are able to provide a safe and fun experience even for our younger and beginner dancers while providing the superb level of training and artistry levels for the highest level of pre-professionals.

The Joffrey Ballet School has amazing summer programs in Contemporary Ballet, Cirque Arts, Jazz & Contemporary, Classical Ballet, Musical Theater, Fusion (Ballet in the morning and jazz and contemporary in the afternoon) Hip Hop, & Tap.

Our summer dance intensives are located in


All of our summer dance intensives have beginner levels all the way up through pre-professional and are suitable for serious dancers at every level. The Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance intensives follow the same guidelines and offer the same level of world-class instruction regardless of the location. All students receive corrections in each class. Teachers in all programs get to know the dancers, see them grow and are able to help them build on strengths and correct weaknesses. This is a very critical in helping a dancer grow and mature. 

That said there are some differences between the programs. One of the biggest considerations when it comes to instruction and training is the Artistic Director you’ll be working with and the Style of Dance Training at that intensive. Each program is led by an artistic background recognized as the best in their craft at the style of dance they’re teaching. 

For most dancers, the only other way to work with some of these instructors is in a large ballroom setting, with up to 500 other students vying for the instructors attention. At the Joffrey Ballet School intensives, you’ll be one of just 25 to 30 students receiving individual instruction from the world’s best dance professionals. 

For instance, our Los Angeles, NYC ballet & San Francisco intensives are led by Josie Walsh, one of the most influential teachers and choreographers in the country. Her choreography has been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and her students have won the Youth American Grand Prix numerous times. If you want to work with her, or one of the other world-class instructors at the Joffrey Ballet School, you’ll want to choose your intensive on that basis.

It’s also worth noting that while all of our intensives offer performance opportunities, opportunities are more advanced in certain locations. Our Los Angeles (Commercial Dance Intensive) performances are held in a $10 million facility that most dancers wouldn’t be able to perform in until they reach the professional level. 


Another major consideration when determining the best summer dance intensives for beginner to pre-professionals is the style of dance that you want to study. This will drive the decision about which location and instructor you should consider for your intensive.

Each of our locations focuses on a different style of dance, with several styles of dance intensives offered in New York City. If you’re interested in commercial dance – the type of dance you might do in Broadway shows, at theme parks, in movies or on television – then you’ll want to attend our summer dance intensive for commercial dance held in Los Angeles.

If you’re interested in hip-hop or musical theater, you’ll want to attend our hip-hop dance or musical theater intensives in New York. For contemporary ballet dancers who want exposure to the newest ideas in ballet, you’ll want to attend our summer dance intensive in San Francisco. If you can’t decide between classical ballet or jazz contemporary, you can attend one of our fusion programs in Dallas or Miami.

And if you’re interested in either jazz contemporary or a more acrobatic style of dance, you can attend one of our intensives in Las Vegas. Our Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil intensive program offers not just dance training but an opportunity to study at the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil training center, where you will learn acrobatics, juggling and acting as well as dance. It’s an amazing experience for a young dancer.

If you are seeking superb Classical Ballet Training in a safe campus setting for your child than the Georgia and Colorado are your superb choices. Georgia also provides an EPIC jazz and contemporary intensive that will truly elevate your talent.

Now the Flagship Jazz & Contemporary Program is located in NYC. This is where the culmination of artistic excellence is located and all the faculty are celebrated world dancing professionals. This program is led by Angelica Stiskin, a true visionary that leads this program to its ultimate HUGE performance at the end of the five week intensive.

NYC Ballet Intensive Flagship EXPERIENCE. This intensive led by Josie Walsh brings together all that is Joffrey. There is no other intensive that encompasses classical and contemporary Ballet in conjunction with teachers flown in from around the entire world. Your dancer will be challenged, pushed to their dance limits and transformed as a dancer. The HUGE NYC Performance is unlike any other performance for student dancers in the world. Simply stated this is the culmination is Joffrey teaching at its pinnacle.

Now if Musical Theater is your happy place and singing, dancing, and everything broadway is you then the NYC Musical Theater Program is your choice. This EXPERIENCE is unlike any other. We have hired existing NYC Broadway Professionals and each week the Joffrey focuses in on a different Broadway Show inspired Choreography, Singing, and Artistry Experience. Then, at the end of each week you will go and see the show that you are studying each week. Many of the teachers are working professionals from each show. You are being trained by professionals from each show each week while making your own contacts and Musical Theater Dreams come true. Every Joffrey Intensive would not be complete without an immersive and Huge Performance Spectacular and the NYC Musical Intensive Performance lives up to that fact.

Dallas and Miami will not let you down as superb Fusion Intensives. What is a Fusion Intensive? It is just the best of both worlds providing Ballet Training in the morning and Jazz and Contemporary Training in the afternoon to produce the most well rounded dancer possibile. The artistic excellence at these two programs is unique as world renkowned ballet and jazz faculty unit to elevate your artistry in both worlds. These challenging and unrelenting intensives are a True Joffrey Experience crafting and shaping your dancers into a true versatile artist. Each intensive has a HUGE Life Changing performance unlike anything you have ever experienced.

Hip Hop and Joffrey have are truly amazing relationship. If you are ready to be in Music Videos, Flash mobs, Mega Performances and be trained by the most cutting edge Choreographers that have worked with all of today’s artists then we have made the True Hip Hop Experience for you located in NYC and Florida. Get ready to learn ALL forms of Hip Hop and be hired by today’s working professionals.

Lastly but not least there are two major intensives that are unlike any other in the world and those are the Pre-Professional and JBS Experience. When immersion into classical ballet training with working professionals in a small class setting is your passion then the Pre-Professional program will drive you unlike any other. Train with NYC’s top working professionals in Classical Ballet Companies and train like them by them daily. Train like a pro to become a pro by NYC’s working classical dance professionals. The JBS Experience is just that a truly UNIQUE dance intensive. Imagine the Pre-Professional Program with Contemporary Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary and Musical Theater instructed by the top working professionals in NYC to train you to be the most well rounded dancer to enters today’s challenging working dance world. Be ready to work unlike you have ever worked before.


The criteria above all relate to the program, but the biggest deciding factor when determining which summer dance intensive is best for a beginner to pre-professional dancer is each dancer’s own maturity, experience and personal dance goals. 

As a beginner, you may not be sure of your long term goals or which program will be most beneficial for you over the long term, but you probably do have some areas of dance you are most interested in pursuing. Because we offer so many styles, you can pick the program that best aligns with your long term goals and interests. The more advanced dancer has a good idea of their learning goals and it is more likely their choice will be guided by the style of training and artistic excellence of the faculty.

Experience is an important consideration as well. If most of your dance experience is in ballet, for instance, you may wish to pursue a ballet intensive. On the other hand, if you’re looking to broaden your horizons, you may want to consider an intensive in another style. Either way, you’ll work with world-class instructors, receiving one on one corrections and instruction in a small group setting of just 25 – 30 dancers, and will have an experience that will allow you to grow as a dancer and as a person.

From the maturity perspective, all of Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance intensives are well supervised. So for a young or beginning, intermediate or advanced dancer who seeks to train with top instructors in New York City, any of our dance intensives in the city are an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to world-class professionals and performances. 

And unlike other similar New York-based  programs offered by other schools, our dancers are well-chaperoned, with meals and ground transportation provided. We’ve been offering these programs for more than 60 years and we know how to provide a safe and enriching experience for dancers at every level.

So, which summer dance intensive is best for you? 

As you can see, there’s not a simple answer to the question of which summer dance intensive is best for You. It’s a highly individual question, the answer to which will be determined by your own goals and experience, your maturity, the instructors you’d like to study and styles you’d like to study, and which location you most want to visit. By considering each of these criteria carefully, you’ll make a decision that most benefits you as a dancer and as a person.

Learn more about our 2020 Summer Dance Intensives

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

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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. 

#GoTheJoffreyDistance: Matthew Prescott’s Audition Tips

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#GoTheJoffreyDistance: Matthew Prescott’s Audition Tips

Ask and you shall receive! We asked our readers what they’d like to see more of and audition tips was the #1 answer. Here are some fabulous tips from our favorite musical theater intensive director, Matthew Prescott!  (more…)

#GotheJoffreyDistance: Josie Walsh’s Audition Tips

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#GotheJoffreyDistance: Josie Walsh’s Audition Tips

Audition season is well under way and our teachers want to give you some feedback! We asked some JBS summer intensive directors to share their tips on how to have a great audition and we’re going to share them with you one by one. First up, Josie Walsh Director of the San Francisco and Los Angeles Jazz & Contemporary intensives! (more…)

TweetChat Recap: Pointe Shoe Problems @BlochDanceUSA

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TweetChat Recap: Pointe Shoe Problems @BlochDanceUSA

As dancers, we have all had a pointe shoe problem before. Ingrown toenails, ill-fitting shoes, blisters… the list goes on. We recently chatted with Susie Riefenhauser from Bloch Dance on Twitter to answer all of your pointe shoe questions! Here you can read through the conversation and see all the great advice they had to offer. Thank you for a wonderful chat @BlochDanceUSA! Until next time dancers…

#MyJoffreyLife Twitter chats happen once a month on Wednesdays at 9pm. Join us for our next chat to discuss the pros and cons of competition life on November 19, 2014. Stay updated on all #MyJoffreyLife happenings by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @JoffreySchool! 


The International Dancer – With Josie Walsh

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The International Dancer – With Josie Walsh


Finding work as a dancer can be hard… Duh. But finding work and being in a new country?… forget about it! Being an international dancer is one of the toughest job markets to break into. We asked Joffrey Ballet School Artistic Director (San Francisco Summer Intensive) Josie Walsh about her experience dancing abroad. Here’s what she had to say: 


How To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer Intensive Experience

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer Intensive Experience


Summer intensives can be a nerve wracking experience if you’re not prepared. It’s important for to arrive early, stretch before the audition or class begins, keep healthy sleeping and eating habits, relax, be focused, & do your best. Here are a few tips we learned this past summer. Keep these in mind and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your summer training!


How To Build A Successful Dance Performance Career

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How To Build A Successful Dance Performance Career

Building a successful dance career is not easy. The challenges of standing out in such a highly competitive industry, with more talent than jobs, would deter any young dancer. Between paying for classes, staying in shape, and going to audition after audition, one might think that dancers are a little crazy for choosing such a difficult career path. But, we do it because we love it!


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