Friday, 12 July 2013

Irish Summer Intensives

Hey Dancers!
As you probably know, Summer Intensives or "SI's" are super popular in The US, and lots of them are household names such as Joffery, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Austin. For a lot of people it's a great way to get your foot in the door and be seen by major companies and schools. In Ireland, however, it's not really done in the same way.

There are a lot of 'Summer Camps' for kids all over the country, some are great like Ballet Ireland's summer school. They travel around Ireland, going to different theatres and teaching dance. It's called 'Ballet' but it really is more about movement of dance, which is great for younger kids who just want to dance.

Then if you want something a little more challenging there is Shawbrook, a dance school in Longford. They have a large dorm area for their youth company that during the summer is used for the summer schools held there. The courses are week-long and there are different classes for different ages and levels. I have done the course for two years in a row and I would highly recommend it to everyone! The classes vary each year, the food and accommodation really are great and the organiser, Anica Louw and her husband Philip were very welcoming and they made everyone feel so at home. 

Then, if you were thinking about doing a more ballet-orientated summer school for an older age group, I would recommend The Irish Ballet Forum's Summer Intensive held in Dance House Studios in Dublin. This year they have their usual week-long Summer Intensive and they have added a three day 'Mini Intensive' for ballet level Intermediate and above the week afterwards. This year IBF's Intensive will be incorporating more jazz into the week with jazz classes more often throughout the week Denzil Bailey. I did this course for the first time last year, and I found everyone so welcoming and the studios are beautifully white with windows onto a park in Dublin City. Because this course is not residential, the organiser, June tries to find host families for students living outside of Leinster. I stayed with a host family last year and it couldn't have turned out better. They were very nice and I felt at home with them. 

This year AnnaMae and I will both be attending Shawbrook Summer School and I will be attending both Main and Mini Summer Intensives with IBF. 

What Summer Intensives are you attending this year? 

Keep on dancing,
Sarah & AnnaMae.

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