Instead of lounging the summer away, teens can spend their school vacations improving their dance technique. With an intensive schedule of classes and activities, summer dance camps give young dancers the chance to learn new skills, perfect their old ones, and become more disciplined. When choosing a summer dance camp for your teen, research sleep-away camps as well as local studio day programs to find the camp that suits the dancer's age and ability level.
Best for teens with limited dance experience, these sleep-away camps offer classes in a wide range of styles for recreational dancers. At camps like the American Dance Training Camp (americandancetrainingcamps.org), campers take classes in jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, lyrical and theatre dance as well as electives in ballet, tap and tumbling.Afternoons and evenings are spent enjoying regular camp activities like canoeing and swimming. Teens don't need any previous dance experience to attend most of these recreational camps.
Unlike recreational camps, pre-professional dance summer programs emphasise preparing young dancers for careers in the dance through an intensive schedule of daily classes. Competitive ballet schools like the Joffrey Ballet School (joffreyballetschool.com) and modern dance companies like the Paul Taylor Dance Company (ptdc.org) offer multi-week summer programs for advanced teenage dancers. Admission to these programs is often competitive and through audition only. Some schools and companies use their summer courses to recruit year-round students and company members.
Teens don't have to go far from home to experience action-packed summer dance camps. Many local dance schools and studios offer day camps for kids and teens of all dance levels. The styles of dance offered will vary with each studio, but expect daily ballet classes along with jazz, tap, tumbling and hip-hop. Some camps will also offer conditioning classes like Pilates and yoga and culminate in an in-studio demonstration for family and friends. Find studios in your area through the Dance Studio Directory (dancestudiodirectory.com) and ask if they offer summer dance camps for teens.
If your teenage dancer is part of a school dance or drill team she can attend a summer dance camp with her whole team! Organizations like the Universal Dance Association (uda.varsity.com) offer overnight camps for high school dance teams who want to improve their technique and leadership skills while competing against other teams. Danceline Productions (dancelineusa.com) hosts private camps for school dance groups that want to focus on learning new routines and participate in team-building activities. These camps include workshops with guest choreographers as well as daily warm-up sessions and technique classes.