The Importance of Summer Intensives

Photo by Keith Alan Sprouse

Every spring, we have lots of students and parents at Charlottesville Ballet Academy asking questions about Summer Intensive programs, both here in Charlottesville and about programs across the country.  We’ve compiled a short list of questions to help our families think about auditioning for summer dance programs.  See the questions below for helpful information to decide if an intensive is right for you!


The Charlottesville Ballet Summer Intensive runs from July 27 – August 14, 2015.   Auditions for this program are on Sunday, March 22 and Tuesday, April 28.


Photo by Christine Scott

1) Why Do a Summer Intensive? Many aspiring professional dancers use summer intensives to see if a certain company might be a good fit for them and if the directors might be interested in them as prospective employees in the future. It’s also a great time for an advanced dancer to try a different style of ballet, learn choreography that is in the repertoire of the company it is attached to, or to get special coaching opportunities. It gives students the opportunity to determine if they want to pursue dance as a career and are able to get a glimpse into the life of professional dancer.

2) What Makes Summer Training Different?  Young dancers can make excellent progress during the summer when they arrive in the mornings, fully rested and not fatigued and weighed down by homework and stress from school. We have seen tremendous growth from students in our 3-week Summer Intensive.  The faculty always comments that they are able to accomplish months of work in just a few short weeks with the Summer mood of the dancers! Summer Intensives also give students an opportunity to progress to a new level upon returning home.

As you prepare to “pointe” your toes in the direction of Summer Intensives ask yourself some the following questions:

*Do I have money to spare to spend on a Summer intensive?

Photo by Christine Scott

*Can they keep track of their belongings?

*Can they sew their own pointe shoes?

*Are they able to discern between soreness and injury and are they able to speak up for themselves if they are injured and cannot dance?

*Can they handle criticism, and competition without becoming overly stressed by it?

*Is your dancer mature enough to handle different styles and information and to adjust to new teachers and their way of teaching?

For more information about the Charlottesville Ballet’s 2015 Summer Intensive program, please visit  We hope to see you at the audition!

-Sara Clayborne & Emily Mott
Co-Directors, Charlottesville Ballet

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