If you think that Cincinnati Ballet closes up shop as soon as the performance season ends for the Main Company, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, summer is an incredibly busy time, complete with summer programs at the Academy that will involve nearly 500 people.
We asked Vice President of Academy and Education, Ginger Johnson, about the latest happenings for the months ahead. Here’s what she had to say:
1. What are the big initiatives that are happening at the Academy this summer?
Summer Intensive is our hallmark program, and it attracts students from around the world to train at Cincinnati Ballet. Collegiate Intensive is in its second year and it is part of a wonderful partnership we have with University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Youth Summer Intensive has expanded in recent years to be more truly reflective of a condensed version of our Summer Intensive. Additionally, Kids Dance Camp is a sell out every year.
2. How long does each program run, and what are the ages for those who will participate?
- Summer Intensive (6 weeks) – for students 12 – 22
- Collegiate Intensive (6 weeks) – for students 18 – 24
- Youth Summer Intensive (4 weeks) – for students 9 – 14
- Kids Dance Camp (3 weeks) – for students 4 – 8
- Summer Bridge Program (3 weeks) – for students in Level 1 and 3 – 7
- Adult Weekend Intensive (1 weekend) – for students 18+
- Mercy Health Anderson HealthPlex Summer Camps (2 weeks) – for students 3 – 5
3. How many kids will be involved in total?
We anticipate about 450 – 475 students.
4. What are you personally most excited about?
Summer Intensive is always exciting because of the opportunity to work with new students and our visiting guest faculty. However, there are a couple of new programs that I’m particularly excited about this year, as well.
Kara Louis, our Youth Programs Manager, is launching a new division of our Summer Bridge Program to help support some of our younger students who are transitioning from Children’s Division to Main Division. She has such a heart for these students, and it’s so great to see them receive some added attention and guidance.
Also new this summer is our Adult Weekend Intensive, led by Academy Faculty member, Courtney Hellebuyck. This two day intensive gives adult students a kick start on their summer fitness, as well as an opportunity to explore other genres of dance in a supportive community. We’re eager to expand our services to students 18 and up, and this is an exciting step in that direction.
5. How many teachers will you utilize across all of the activities this summer?
6. Is there anything that any of the students will be training for this summer that affects next season? If so, what?
Not specifically. Our students have a lot of performance opportunities during the year, so we really try to focus on technical and artistic training over the summer and provide more individual guidance and attention. That being said, our summer programs serve as audition and placement opportunities for new students to join the Academy in the fall.
We also actively recruit to our Professional Training Division through the Summer and Collegiate Intensives. Youth Summer Intensive Division II also marks the beginning of pointe work for those students advancing from Main Division Level 2 to 3. It’s an epic moment for any young dancer!
7. What is the age range for the kids who will be participating in Academy activities/training over the summer?
4 – 94…seriously! Our primary age range is 4 – 24, but our Adult Weekend Intensive will serve adults 18+.
8. For you, what’s the busiest time of the year, and why? Is it summer…or not?
Actually, it’s April – May that feel busiest. We’re in the midst of finishing out the school year as strongly as possible, preparing for six year-end performances, prepping for summer and getting ready for the next school year. It’s the time of year where we’re caught in a whirlwind of activity for all aspects of our programs. It’s fun because there’s so much to celebrate, but it’s also a lot of details to juggle.
9. Because of what you have going on, does the summer really seem to fly by? How do you feel about that?
100%. I feel like we blink and it’s gone. We get to meet so many new students over the summer and to some, six weeks seems so long. But, by the end, we’re wondering where the time went over tearful goodbyes.
It’s an intense time period and super rewarding, but you have to take advantage of those small opportunities to linger in the moment and slow down for a second.
10. If you weren’t involved in Academy happenings during the summer, where would you be and what would you be doing?
I’m originally from Huntington Beach, CA so I’d be spending part of the summer at the beach and at home with my family. Aside from that, I really love the long days of summer and the opportunity to linger outside until late.
Between summer sports, outdoor concerts and meals on rooftop patios with friends, it’s a great opportunity to slow down and enjoy good company. I also really enjoy my colleagues from other departments, and summer gives us the time to do more together outside the office.