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Notes on camps.

While some of you could stay in the dance studio from morning to night, others may be interested in learning related art forms, such as theater, music, or visual arts. Maybe you would like an opportunity to try creative writing, to play tennis, or to swim, surrounded by nature. There are many summer dance camps all over the U.S. that offer a combination of dance classes and performances, plus nature hikes, cabin or dorm living, and a chance to explore your other talents.

One of the oldest and most established is the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, just outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Choreographers such as Agnes de Mille, Merce Cunningham, Hanya Holm, and Jose Limon once experimented in these open-air studios looking out at the Rocky Mountains. This past summer, the camp's eightieth year, 144 ay and residential students, ages 8 and up, attended. Students come for three, four, or six weeks to study not only dance, but drame and musical theatre. Creative writing, visual arts, pottery, and English and Western equitation around out the program.

Beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York, is the site of summer programs in both ballet and contemporary dance on the campus of Skidmore College. The Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center provides serious ballet students with training in the Vaganova and French styles. Classes are taughts by Oleg Briansky and Mireille Briane, director and codirector, along with an impressive list of full-time and guest faculty from New York City Ballet a other prestigious companies. This four-week program, which began in 1965, is held in July and is open to students from 10 to 19 years old. The 125 participants come from all parts of the world, and they are housed in supervised dorms on the campus. Evening activities include attendance at New York City Ballet, plus lectures, films, and theater. Students can relax by swimming in Skidmore's Olympic-sized pool or socializing in the comfortable cafeteria.

Another dance programn on the Skidmore campus, for students from New York State only, is the New York State Summer School of the Arts. The modern dance school at NYSSSA provides four intense and inspiring weeks of training by top names in contemporary dance. Directed by former Paul Taylor pincipal dancer Carolyn Adams, this five-year-old, state-funded program gives 35 students, ages 13 to 18, an opportunity to study three styles of contemporary dance: Graham-based, Limon, and Taylor. The NYSSSA students have ample opportunities to choreograph and perform and, like the Briansky students, they may relax in the Skidmore pool. Evening are spent at lecturers, films, and performances of New York City Ballet. One night is devoted to exploring college programs and career options. Weekend trips include Lake George and the nearby modern dance festival, Jacob's Pillow.

If you're interested in musical theater, a summer camp housed at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point could be for you. For one week in mid-July, students from eight grade through high school can study acting for dancers, ballet, and repertory, or specialize in stage movement, voice, and acting techniques. As in Saratoga, students live in the university's dorms and have access to an Olympic-sized pool. Volleyball is played in the afternoons, and evening events include lecturea, resume workshops, and plays. Each day concludes with a group circle, a chance for each participant to share his or her artistic discoveries. At week's end there's a performance in which students can show their own work.

For students in the Los Angeles area who love jazz and musical theater but want to escape the city, the Peninsula Dance Camp, held for two weeks in early August, is only an hour and a half away to the north. In Ojai, California, at the Thacher School, students are surrounded by orange groves, ranches, and mountains in an area that was once a spiritual meeting ground for the local Indians. The first week of the program focuses on modern dance, tap, and ballet and culminates with a performance. The second week reflects that talents of camp director Rick Sullivant, a musical theater and video choregrapher: there are classes in jazz, Latin jazz, hip hop, and physical conditioning. The program is open to adults as well as school-age students; applicants must be at least seven.

The Washington Academy of the Performing Arts offers a one-wek campo in the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, an hour and a half west of Seattle. This program is geared for beginning to intermediate students ages 9 to 15 and focuses on dance and music. Students play instruments and form chamber groups, as well as take callses in dance, mime, theater, and Pilates exercises. The camp is held at the site of an abandoned army fort that has recently been made an environmental learning center. Students stay in rustic facilities and they may spend evenings at beach barbecues or participating in talent shows. Director Deborah Hadley, former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, also heads another camp week that is specifically for blind students and special-needs kids with Down's syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or fetal alcohol syndrome. This program has a student-counselor ratio of one to one and consists of movement classes, theater games, and a small performance.

For the adventures, there's the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, held in the warm last week of July and the first week of August on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Director Jo Scott invites more than 55 artists from across the United States and Europe to teach and perform for the Alaska residents who flock to Fairbanks to study. A student can concentrate on dance, music, drama, opera, jazz, visual arts, carbaret, or ice skating. The intense two weeks culminate in three days of performances featuring both students and professionals. The dance program offers ballet, modern jazz, and tap classes. Students live in the dorms of the university and can walk to the many music concerts held most evenings. Dance classes are open to beginning and intermediate students from ten-year-olds to adults.

With these and so many other programs to choose from, now is the time to begin your search. After all, summer will be here soon.
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Title Annotation:The Young Dancer; summer dance camps
Author:Ruddy, Jeanne
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:1025
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