JD/dansfolk Summer Dance Intensive

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The proposed project is a conservatory-style concert dance training program for pre-professional and aspiring professional dancers in the Bronx, which will be open to everyone in the Bronx community who wants to pursue rigorous dance training. Programming will consist of 10-15 classes per week for 4 weeks in the summer, with a focus on classical ballet and modern dance, with supplemental classes in hiphop, West African, and other non-western styles, and repertory rehearsals. The 4 week rehearsal process will culminate in a free public performance, thus giving back to the community at large and connecting dancers to Bronx choreographers, educators, and venues. Space will be rented on an hourly basis from an existing organization. I am currently seeking a suitable venue with the help of Arthur Aviles, director of the Bronx Dance Coalition and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance–BAAD!, a 70 seat theater space which will be utilized for some of the programming and for the culminating performances. 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 take 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 will provide 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 will be open solely to Bronx residents and while commitment to the entire 4 weeks will be strongly encouraged, no interested party shall be turned away. Outreach will take place with the help of the Bronx Dance Coalition and will target middle schools, high schools, and colleges which have arts programming in order to recruit participants who are interested in a rigorous training program, as well as flyers and e-blasts inviting the general public. I personally have worked in many of these schools as a teaching artist and have a breadth of connections within the borough. The program will be free or low-cost based on a sliding scale, TBD depending upon final funding.

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