Illustrations by Allison Rich
A DAY AT OUR SUMMER DANCE CAMP
SAMPLE CAMPER SCHEDULE
CLARA: THE DANCER - FRIDAY
Clara loves to dance. That’s about it! She’s a camper in the Dance Intensive.
Dance Intensive campers leave breakfast before the announcements: they’ll be dancing all morning, so might as well get to it! The morning includes a composition class, where the Dance Intensive campers collaborate on creating one of the major pieces for the Dance Concert. From concept to choreography, the campers take the lead. Then, the DI campers rehearse with the dance company in residence: Kids and professional adults work together on a cooperative piece from the company’s repertory. Finally, daily, all the DI kids participate in a non-dance movement class. This DI session, it is Japanese Butoh, which she had never heard of before. Everyone goes back to the cabins at 12, and lunch is at 12:30.
After lunch is a Rest Period, and the camp gathers for the One-Minute Performance at 2:35 and a recap of afternoon offerings. Today is a short musical improvisation with two campers and two staff playing guitar and electric piano. It's very strange-sounding music; she's not heard anything like this before. After the performance, she goes to talk with them - would they be interested in playing for her while she dances an improvised duet with her friend? Maybe they can create a "5:00 Special" together!
Clara has opted to be in as many dance concert pieces as possible, and to take as many technique classes as possible, so her afternoon is again filled with dance. This afternoon she will be in rehearsal for the advanced modern piece from 3-4, and then will take the intermediate tap class 4-5. Some of the DI kids participate in fewer pieces and opt for other activities, or participate in a one-act play, but Clara is a totally committed dancer!
At 5:00 the camp gathers for the “5:00 special,” an informal performance. Today the “special” is an entire short play! The whole camp gathers at the outdoor stage and enjoy the 15-minute comedy.
Free time, 6:30-7:00:
Very few activities are scheduled during this half-hour. It’s usually a nice time to take a walk, play some tennis or participate in the sports activity on the sports field, or just hang out with friends; Clara takes a few minutes to write an email home, and then reads a book that is part of her summer “homework.”
Evening Activities, 7:00-8:00:
Although there are more dance classes she could take this evening, an open juggling class was announced after dinner, and she was intrigued. So: she took the class at 7:00, and was juggling three balls by 8:00! At 8:00 everyone goes back to the cabins to put on long sleeves and long pants, grab a flashlight, and then go the evening program.
Evening Program, 8:40:
Tonight is one of the amazing plays! Last night there was a play, too. This one is at the outdoor theater, which is like nothing she has seen before: the audience sits on a grassy hillside, and there are three stages: one in front of her, and two more to her left and right. It's a beautiful, clear night; and as the actors enter she sees two of her cabin-mates. Also, she sees another cabin-mate running a video camera! It’s a wonderful performance, and she marvels at how many people -- campers and staff -- it takes to make a show like this happen.