GV Dance Program hosts summer dance intensive for high school students

Colleen Garcia, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University Dance Program is hosting its summer dance intensive program, “Accelerate” for the first time in two years.

Held Aug. 1 through 5, the intensive will primarily target advanced dancers ages 14 and older to help train and elevate their performance skills. 

Hannah Seidel, Associate Professor of Dance at GVSU, said the participants will take three movement classes, a special topics workshop and a repertory class each day at the intensive. 

Movement classes include ballet, hip-hop, jazz, modern and pilates,” Seidel said. “In the repertory class, program faculty will set and rehearse a dance work to be performed at a final showing on the last day of the intensive.” 

Seidel said that through their time in the program students have the opportunity to explore what the GVSU Dance Program has to offer. She said she hopes the program gives students the opportunity to experiment with new challenges through different forms of dance and training.

Due to the wider age range of dancers, Seidel said she recognizes that students will come to the intensive with a variety of skills and experiences.

Seidel said she hopes this mix of skill level will help students to gain exposure taking new approaches t0 dance and further develop their individual abilities.  

Since each dancer comes in with their own unique movement history, they can expect to learn from each other’s strengths as well as from the faculty,” Seidel said. 

The camp will be returning with some major changes including expanded residency opportunities for students coming from outside of the Grand Rapids area.  Students can stay in one of the on-campus apartments that consists of two private bedrooms, a bathroom, living area and kitchen. The intensive housing plan also includes all meals.  The total cost for both housing and the intensive is $575. However, the cost for just the intensive without housing is $275. 

Additionally, the on-campus residences will be supervised by a Resident Assistant that is a student from GVSU dance department. This gives attendees the opportunity to connect with a current student and get to better know the program. 

Students that attend the dance program this summer will be working with the South Chicago Dance Theater, a professional dance company. This gives students the opportunity to see what it is like to take on dance as a career. At this time students will be able to see the company in action and also take classes taught by Executive Artistic Director, Kia Smith and company dancers. 

“For dancers in high school, the program is a chance to experiment with new movement ideas, to meet and learn from university faculty and to get to know more about the wider dance world,” Seidel said.

The South Chicago Dance Theater will return to perform in the Louis Armstrong Theater on GVSU’s Allendale campus on Nov. 7 as a part of GVSU Fall Arts Celebration.