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Summer Dance in Williamsburg 

Dancing Through the Heat

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The iconic 'Dolls' kickline show, the results of summer dance training.

The iconic 'Dolls' kickline show, the results of summer dance training.

Courtesy of MackenzieCarino

Courtesy of MackenzieCarino

The iconic 'Dolls' kickline show, the results of summer dance training.

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School is no longer in session come June 15th, 2018. When that final school bell rings students are going to need something to fill the hours that are no longer filled by classes and homework. For the dancers in Williamsburg, we drop the books, pick up the tap shoes, and head for our other school- dance school.

The Institute for Dance (I-Dance), originally Chamber Ballet, has been an operating dance studio for the past 25 years. Not only does the school offer full time classes during the school year, it offers classes during the summer to help students maintain their dance skills. During the summer months, classes are offered July 16th to August 9th. Various types of dance are offered, though classes are limited compared to the number of classes offered during the school year. The studio will also be offering an intensive, a week-long course that focuses on fine tuning dancer’s abilities, and the course is taught by guest choreographers/instructors. This “intensive” program is only offered June 25th-29th, and available only to dancers in levels 2A-3A and/or intermediate-advanced.

Courtesy of Michelle Millirons
Honing into the spirit of Swan Lake, Michelle dances through the snow.

So, why take summer classes? If a student has danced all year, wouldn’t they be tired of dancing? Not necessarily. In fact, most dancers continue their instruction during the summer, for a variety of reasons.

Michelle Millirons, a student at Jamestown High School, said that she takes summer classes to maintain technique and flexibility over the summer break. She will be taking ballet and the intensive course this summer because “ballet technique is very particular and always needs strengthening. The intensive course has more variety than what we take during the year. It has a mix of everything.”

Sophia Liu, another student at Jamestown High School, said she will focus only on ballet this summer, because it’s a chance to improve during the summer and maintain what she has learned. She also said that dance “is a good exercise, and is something to do that is fun during the summer.”

By Erin Horne
Extra practice in the studio helps Sophia prepare for the next lesson.

Mackenzie Carino, another I-Dance student, will only be taking ballet classes, as well. Due to her new summer job, Mackenzie will not be able to dedicate as much time to dance. However, she believes that the summer classes offer good training for dancers. “Working on flexibility and technique is important, and also the class size is smaller.”

I-Dance offers two shows during the school year, a Christmas Dreams Show as well as the annual June Show. Students who audition or want to audition for Christmas Dreams are asked to take to take summer classes. Michelle Millirons will be auditioning for Christmas Dreams, but says the show is not her motivation for taking summer classes. Sophia is not planning to audition for the show.

Obviously, I-Dance is not the only dance studio in Williamsburg. There are approximately eight other studios in Williamsburg and even more in surrounding communities. Ariana Gonzalez, a student at Lafayette High School, is a dancer at Broadway Dance Arts (BDA). She will be continuing her dance training through her competition team at BDA. Dancing through the summer is important according to Ariana because “Summer classes are a great time to focus on technique and strength.” And Ariana considers the summer classes a benefit for the serious dancer who travels to New York and Maine to work with professional dancers.

Courtesy of Maya Walker
Future professional shows strength and excitement for her upcoming career.

There is life outside I-Dance. Maya Walker, a graduating senior at Warhill High School and aspiring professional dancer, will be dancing with the Washington ballet this upcoming year. She feels that summer classes are a “good opportunity” for students. “Whether it’s summer classes or the intensive course, it is a chance to try different styles that you are not used to.” Since being at the Institute for Dance, she believes that the teachers have given her a tough skin to prepare for the real world of professional dancing.

Dance does not just teach graceful dance steps, but hard work and perseverance. The critique given to dancers may seem harsh at times, but there is also positive feedback and encouragement. Summer is a great opportunity to explore new realms of dance. So, for Summer 2018, dance should be a top consideration for your summer days.

 

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Summer Dance in Williamsburg