For adult recreational dancers, summer isn’t just a time for swapping out warm-up sweaters for breezy tees—it’s also about taking your training to the next level, and perhaps packing your bags for a ballet workshop. Why should teens and pre-professionals have all of the fun? Fortunately, there are scores of adult summer programs all over the United States, and even abroad for those of you looking to sprinkle in a little sightseeing after your final reverénce. (Can’t wait for summer? Check out these spring workshops at National Ballet of Canada and Sarasota Ballet.)
What can adults expect from a weekend or a week of dance training? Everything from technique to repertoire to yoga. Most of all, it’s a chance to just dig in and dance, without a pesky to-do list waiting for you after class. Here are some summer programs designed for adult recreational dancers to keep on your radar.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet Adult Dance Intensive
May 28–31, San Francisco, CA
Jumpstart your summer in the house that Alonzo King built 38 years ago. Alonzo King LINES Adult Dance Intensive offers two tracks: one for recreational dancers and one for retired professionals and dance educators. Offerings include technique classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and world dance, as well as pedagogy, choreography, professional development for teachers and an exploration of the creative process with Alonzo King. Students can wrap up the day with an exploration of San Francisco’s vibrant nightlife.
San Francisco Ballet Adult Ballet Summer Workshop
June 8–13, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Ballet offers a five-and-a-half day Adult Ballet Summer Workshop in technique and repertory for intermediate though advanced students. Led by SFB principal dancer Tiit Helimets, corps member Kimberly Marie Olivier and faculty member Cecelia Beam, this intensive also includes classes in music and dance history, and culminates in an informal performance for family and friends. Early bird pricing available until February 29.
Lexington Ballet Adult Ballet Intensive
July 13–17, Lexington, KY
Train like a Thoroughbred in the city known as the horse capital of the world. At Lexington Ballet’s Adult Ballet Intensive, classes are held in the evening, beginning with a Pilates/conditioning warm up, followed by a 90-minute ballet class, and wrapping up with variations/choreography. The program welcomes beginning through advanced students.
Louisville Ballet Adult Summer Intensive
A faculty member helps an adult student perfect his soubresaut at Louisville Ballet’s adult summer program.
Andrea Hutchinson, Courtesy Louisville Ballet
June 1–5, Louisville, KY
At Louisville Ballet’s Adult Summer Intensive, beginning through advanced students can take part in half- or full-days of training, as well as an informal performance (for full-day participants) when the program wraps up. Dancers will have the chance to immerse themselves in ballet technique, pointe, men’s class, modern and choreography, along with yoga and Pilates.
Brookline Ballet 2020 Adult Summer Ballet Intensive
June 24–June 28, Brookline, MA
Nestled in the greater Boston area, Brookline Ballet’s Adult Summer Ballet Intensive offers three weeknights and two weekend mornings of classes in technique and repertoire, culminating in an informal performance on Sunday afternoon. Students can opt for the beginner or intermediate workshop.
Open Door Studios Adult Summer Workshop
June 4–6, Charlotte, NC
Spend a long weekend in the Queen City at Open Door Studios’ Adult Summer Workshop. This 3-day intensive (Thursday through Saturday) focuses on ballet, pre-pointe and pointe, variations, conditioning, modern and improvisation. The program wraps up with a performance. Classes will be taught at an intermediate level, but beginners are welcome. Post-class on Friday, students can wind down with cocktails and appetizers in the bustling Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte.
Technique in Taos
July 26–August 9, Taos, NM
One- and two-week options available
Now in its 22nd year, Technique in Taos is a two-week program led by Jillana, a former principal with the New York City Ballet while under the direction of George Balanchine. The intensive, held in New Mexico’s scenic Taos Ski Valley, is geared towards dance teachers and intermediate through advanced adult students (no beginners). The days begin with a stretch and fitness class, followed by a two-hour technique class. In the afternoon, students will move on to pointe, variations and repertory, including excerpts and variations from Balanchine ballets. Classes in modern, jazz and Pilates, as well as lectures on Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, will round out the day. Former NYCB principal Jock Soto will be a guest teacher.
Finis Jhung’s 2020 Adult Ballet Student Workshop
Finis Jhung leads a group of adult ballet students through his student workshop.
Ai Toyoshima, Courtesy Jhung
June 13–14, New York, NY
One- and two-day options available
New York City is the backdrop for legendary teacher Finis Jhung’s Adult Ballet Student Workshop, which is geared toward non-beginners and is limited to 30 students per day. Each day begins with barre, followed by center work, where Jhung breaks down the different components of ballet technique (turns, port de bras, arabesque, etc.) into their own in-depth sessions.
New York City Ballet’s Ballet Essentials Workshop Weekend
June 4–7 or June 11–14, New York, NY
Designed for beginner to advanced-beginner students, New York City Ballet’s four-day Ballet Essentials Workshop Weekend starts with a ballet technique class, followed by a tour of NYCB’s theater at Lincoln Center. In the afternoon, choreography takes center stage with repertory workshops focused on the works of Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Participants will also observe an in-studio lecture demonstration featuring NYCB company members, and finish their day with a Pilates class. Each weekend offers the chance to perform for family and friends.
Ithaca Ballet Adult Summer Ballet Intensive
Dancers strike a pose at Ithaca Ballet’s adult intensive.
Rachel Meyers, Courtesy Ithaca Ballet
August 21–24, Ithaca, NY
Savor the college-town vibe with a long weekend at Ithaca Ballet’s Adult Summer Ballet Intensive. The details are still being determined, but the adult intensive typically features an intermediate ballet class, classical variations, modern, contemporary, ballet workshops and core conditioning/stretch.
Classes will be geared towards adult dancers with a skill level at or above intermediate, though some classes may be appropriate for advanced or beginning-level dancers.
artÉmotion Adult Ballet Workshop
June 15–20, Cleveland, OH
Led by Ballet West soloist Allison DeBona and principal Rex Tilton, artÉmotion’s Adult Ballet Workshop is for beginning through advanced levels (no prior dance experience is required). Held in the morning, it consists of two technique classes: ballet, plus another in either pre-pointe/pointe, mens and women’s variations, contemporary, modern and jazz. Dancers will also enjoy a group professional photo shoot with Joshua Whitehead.
Cincinnati Ballet Adult Weekend Intensive
May 29–31, Cincinnati, OH
Dancers wanting to kick off their summer with an exploration of multiple dance styles can do so at Cincinnati Ballet’s Adult Weekend Intensive. The long weekend consists of classes in ballet, modern, musical theater and conditioning, as well as an introduction to repertoire. Dancers can also take part in an optional, informal performance on the final day the intensive.
Ballet Academy of Charleston Adult Summer Intensive
August 3–7 (Beginner/Lower Intermediate), August 10–14 (Advanced/Upper Intermediate), Charleston, SC
Bask in the beauty of the Lowcountry with a week-long intensive at the Ballet Academy of Charleston, located just 15 minutes from the city’s vibrant, historic downtown. Students will immerse themselves in classes focused on technique, stretching/Pilates/yoga, pre-pointe or pointe (for advanced students), jazz, modern, contemporary and choreography. Contact the school for information about discounted rates at local hotels.
Houston Ballet Adult Intensive
August 10–15, Houston, TX
At Houston Ballet’s Adult Intensive, dancers choose between three- or six-day options, and the program geared toward intermediate through advanced students who’ve had at least three years of ballet training. Students will become immersed in technique, repertoire, contemporary, social dance, body conditioning and Yamuna. The week wraps up with an informal showing for those enrolled in the full week of classes.
artÉmotion Adult Ballet Intensive
A dancer from artÉmotion’s Adult Summer ballet Intensive poses for a professional photography session.
Logan Sorenson, Courtesy artÉmotion
June 1–6, Salt Lake City, UT
Led by Ballet West soloist Allison DeBona and principal Rex Tilton, artÉmotion’s Adult Ballet Intensive is geared toward beginning through advanced levels (no prior dance experience is required).
Students in the Adult Ballet Summer Intensive may opt for full or half-days, which begin with a 90-minute technique class. Other offerings include pre-pointe and pointe, men’s class, variations, contemporary, modern and jazz. Students will also get a professional dance photo shoot with Logan Sorenson, as well as a complimentary visit to US Cryotherapy. Full-day participants get choreographed on for a world premiere performance on the last day of the intensive.
Sun King Dance Adult Ballet Camps
Director Heidi Winton-Stahle (far right) works with a student at Sun King Dance’s Adult Ballet Camp.
Courtesy Sun King Dance
June 14–20 and August 9–15, Richmond, VA
Celebrating its 20th season this year, Sun King Dance offers two Adult Ballet Camps
, in short-day and full-day options. Students kick off the week with a placement meeting (there are four levels offered, from beginner to advanced). The teachers are all former professional dancers, and students will be immersed in a variety of styles, from Royal Academy of Dance to Balanchine to Vaganova. Each day begins with an hour of Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS) as a daily warm-up, followed by ballet, pointe, men’s class, mime, character and variations. The intensive wraps up with a performance. Students participating in the short day program can choose to add an additional class focused on pas de deux, stretch and/or performance for an additional fee.
Morlaix International Adult Ballet Camp
July 3–11, Morlaix, France
Head to France’s Brittany region for the Morlaix International Adult Ballet Camp. Classes are open to intermediate through advanced students ages 16 and up. The full-day intensive will be led by an international faculty, with teachers from Finland, Netherlands, Italy and France, and consists of morning ballet classes, rehearsals and stretching. Dancers will end the week with a performance of August Bournonville’s ballet Napoli at a local theater, complete with costumes and alongside two professional dancers.
The Ballet Retreat
June 7, Leeds, UK
August 29–31, Leeds, UK
July 18–19, London, UK
We can’t think of a better way to spend a few days in the UK than by working up a sweat and developing your skills with The Ballet Retreat‘s summer workshops. Choose between one, two or three-day retreats, which begin with a guided warm-up session before moving on to technique, repertoire and learning a solo piece from a classic ballet. An express class kicks off the afternoon, followed by more repertoire and a guided cool down. Hotel and travel arrangements must be made by the student, but the school can offer information about booking.
Chelsea Ballet Summer School
August 3–8, London, UK
Another option for training in London is with Chelsea Ballet’s Summer School, a non-profit run by amateur dancers of all skill levels. The director started the summer program in 2005 after struggling to find an intensive that wasn’t for kids or professionals. Now, the 18+ crowd can delve into a variety of classes led by teachers who danced with The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. The program, serving intermediate through advanced students, starts with Pilates, followed by two ballet classes, pointe and repertoire.
Pas de Chat International Adult Ballet Intensive
Dancers in partnering class at Pas de Chat International’s ballet intensive.
Morana Popovčić, Courtesy Pas de Chat International
July 15–21, Zaghreb, Croatia
Pas De Chat International’s Adult Ballet Intensive, held in Croatia’s historic city of Zaghreb, is segmented into classical technique class, variations, pointe, introduction to pas de deux, stretching and modern technique. For those interested in a modern emphasis, a different track includes classical technique, floor work, modern partnering, choreography and improvisation.
When dancers aren’t working on their ballet or modern skills, they can explore Croatia’s capital and largest city, an art mecca known for its museums and affordable eateries. Email [email protected] for more information or to register.