5 Things Adult Ballet Students Should Know About Summer Workshops
Summer workshops are a great way to keep up your dancing all year. Once thought to be a forum only for youths, more summer dance programs are becoming available to adults. If you’re not sure what to expect from these training programs, consider 5 facts about summer workshops before tossing the idea aside.
1. Adult-only programs exist.
If the prospect of dancing beside a group of highly skilled teenagers is not what you envisioned, it is possible to attend a workshop designed solely for adults. These inspiring programs bolster your confidence in an age-appropriate setting. They may be tougher to find, however, and the inevitably large class sizes may be overwhelming to the more shy. If that’s the case, being in a large class is a good thing – you get lost in the crowd without losing out on an amazing experience!
2. You can hone your technique.
Summer workshops combine a variety of classes designed to make you a better dancer. A typical schedule may include ballet technique in the morning, followed up with a pointe class directly after, a lunch break at midday, and conclude with a variations and partnering class, where you learn segments of famous ballets to be danced alone or with a partner. Whatever the lineup, summer is the time to dissect your technique, apply corrections, and take more risks.
3. You will build unique friendships.
It is expected that children will frolic and play with other children in the sunshine. But how many adults can say they made new friends at summer camp? Attending a summer workshop in town, or a plane ride away, gives you a unique opportunity to meet and bond with other adults. Ok, so you may not end up braiding each other’s hair, but it’s safe to say you will come back a better person, and dancer, when you’ve spent a considerable amount of time challenging yourself with likeminded individuals.
4. You may get to perform.
This depends entirely on the school/program. Adult-only workshops have every intention of showcasing their adults at the end of the program. If you attend a local workshop geared more towards children and teens, the likelihood of performing with a group of adults is slim to none. However, some directors will create spots for their adult students if you express a desire to perform. But don’t wait on them to bring it up – if performing is number one on your list, be sure to find out if the program you want to attend even offers performance opportunities.
5. Workshops aren’t cheap (but they could be!)
You can expect a summer workshop to set you back anywhere from $100 a week, well into the thousands if you factor in travel expenses. Before you strap on your leotard, count the cost – will you be splitting a room with other adults? Or if you stay in town, how long is the commute? How many weeks will you sign up for? For all intents and purposes, ask the powers-that-be if scholarships are available, or if you can trade services for tuition. It’s not completely out of the ballpark for a director or studio owner to let you clean, promote, or work the front desk in exchange for classes. Just ask. They can always say no. Attending a workshop should not be a luxury, though you want to be reasonable when making your plans.
Every adult ballet student should experience attending a summer workshop! They’re educational, fun, and expand your horizons.
image credits: Ballet For Adults