The JD/dansfolk Summer Intensive, now in its second year, is a unique opportunity for Bronx youth (ages 13-21) to experience conservatory-style training for free, while also creating an opportunity for professional Bronx dancers to share their myriad of skills with the local community. The Intensive allows students at any experience level to immerse themselves in a month-long intensive study of classical ballet, modern dance, and ethnic dance forms, culminating in a free community performance. It bridges a gap for students with pre-professional dance aspirations whose economic backgrounds preclude them from pursuing advanced study, while also connecting them to artists right in their backyards. The Intensive runs 4 days a week for 4 weeks, 3 classes per day. The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance--BAAD!, a 70 seat theater and studio space will be utilized for some of the programming and for the culminating performances. Cephas Arts Center will serve as a secondary studio space. The mission of this project is threefold: to provide quality dance education to teens and young adults which will enable them to pursue professional dance options, be it admission to performing arts high schools and colleges or performing opportunities; to give Bronx dance professionals the ability to teach classes and to find dancers for projects within their own local community, rather than having to pursue options in other boroughs; and to expose the Bronx community to the breadth of raw talent amongst its population. This provides an invaluable resource to aspiring dancers in the Bronx, who are actively seeking opportunities but limited by lack of resources, be it the financial inability to pay for instruction or the low level of high caliber training and performance opportunities in the Bronx as compared to other boroughs. The program is open solely to Bronx residents and while commitment to the entire 4 weeks is strongly encouraged, no interested party shall be turned away.
A pioneering advocate for cultural equity, the Bronx Council on the Arts nurtures the development of a diverse array of artists and arts organizations and builds strong cultural connections in and beyond The Bronx.