Student Achievements & Intensives

Dance Gallery is fortunate to be a part of the lives of many beautiful dancers! Many are awarded with promotions after successful examination in the Cecchetti program. Some dancers are awarded in competition. Others are awarded with scholarships to highly regarded dance schools. Here from our students on what their experiences have been like at different summer intensives across the United States.

summer intensives 2018


Emelia skogstad

This summer I was able to attend the University of Central Oklahoma dance intensive. This provided me an opportunity to work with a variety of dance instructors. We worked on ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary. I even got to do aerial dance. It was very rewarding to be able to work with mike Esperanza who is a choreographer from New York City. I learned a lot about myself as a dancer and I also learned how wonderful the instruction I have been given at Dance Gallery is. I would encourage anyone to step outside their comfort zone to experience dance in another setting.

summer intensives 2017


Eli McGowan

I remember Ms. Jackie wanted me to explore the world of ballet beyond Dance Gallery. For the past year or two, I was very interested in excelling and being better at ballet. At Dance Gallery there are not any male teachers and the Cecchetti Council of America Summer School Program in Holland, Michigan was starting a new men's program, directed by Michael Fothergill. This summer was probably the *thing* that pushed me to be better.

What I got out of my experience.

This first summer really helped me on presentation during dancing and focus during class. The best thing I got out of this summer, besides the 8 hours a day of men's training, was probably the want to always be dancing. In Michigan there was this *vibe* that the only thing there was, was dance and food. No school, no distractions, not a lot of contact with the outside world. It made you want to dance and it makes you want to practice everywhere, all the time. Even if you are doing it wrong, you will be practicing dancing when your uncomfortable, or you practice your presence, because someone is always watching you.

Another benefit from just going out there for my first summer is it makes me want to do it again or go to different intensives. When you go to other intensives, most of them are attached to a year round school or program and then those are attached to professional dance companies.

I have really benefited from going to the Cecchetti Council of American Summer School Program in how it has allowed me to expand on my training, making new friends and new life experiences. I am looking forward to what Summer 2018 has in store.

Summer Intensives 2012


kiersten zimbreck

My experience at the American Dance Festival was very encouraging once again. The instructors I had last summer noticed my improvement over the year within the first two days of classes, and that gave me the confidence I needed to do well in the audition process that happens during the first 4 days of the festival. This year, I made it into a repertory of the modern dance technique Cunningham that I had little background on, and It was an eye-opening experience to something I have never had before. Also, getting to go see performances of major dance companies twice a week is also very eye-opening, because in Sioux Falls, the modern dance scene isn’t big at all. Sometimes it takes getting away from home to experience how diverse the dance world really is, and that’s when your passion for it grows.

peyton bruce

I went to Interlochen Center for the Arts, in Interlochen, Michigan for six weeks. I had an amazing experience. In the short time I was there, I performed 4 times, three times on a stage and one on a roof. As a dancer, I have grown and excelled, but I have gained strength as a person as well. Going away from home isn’t always easy, but Interlochen was a very comforting and welcoming place to be. The location was gorgeous and full of nature. Overall, the intensive was an amazing choice for me, and I have learned and improved a ton.

Mary Scholten

This summer I was able to attend the Kansas City Ballet Summer Intensive for five weeks. Each day there was a Pilates or yoga class, a two hour technique class, a pointe class, a variations class, a non-ballet class, and a dance related seminar. This intense schedule definitely made my feel physically and technically stronger in my dancing. Being taught by former company members of not only Kansas City Ballet, but also of companies like American Ballet Theater was a truly amazing experience. All of the teachers really motivated the students to work harder than ever before.  Being surrounded by fantastic teachers and dancers really opened my eyes about different ways to approach my dancing. Overall this was a really incredible experience!

bre kline

This summer I attended the Joffrey Ballet School’s ballet and jazz/contemporary intensives in New York City.   I had the opportunity to take classes with many wonderful teachers and grow as a dancer for seven weeks.  I took classes Monday through Friday for about 6-7 hours a day and at the end of the ballet intensive we got to perform on a Broadway stage, a few of the dances we had worked on throughout the summer.  We had classes in ballet, pointe, pas de deux, variations, character/theatre, jazz, contemporary hip-hop, modern, and Pilates. It was also really fun and exciting to get a taste of life in NYC!  On the weekends (when we weren’t in rehearsal!) we got to go to many ballets and Broadway shows, as well as sightseeing, and of course, shopping!  Overall, I had a great experience this summer that I’m sure I will never forget!

joe weaver

I had an amazing time while I was at the Los Angeles Ballet Summer Intensive.  It was a lot harder than I expected.  Our teachers rotated every day so we got many different techniques and styles.  The main style we learned was Balanchine and we also did contemporary and yoga.  We would dance Monday through Friday from about 10 am – 5 pm and on the weekends we would go places such as Disneyland, the Wax Museum, Hollywood, and every Sunday was beach day.  During my stay there I had a great time.  I met many talented dancers from all around the world, which they made me work harder.  This camp was one of the best summers I’ve ever had.

madeline robertson

This summer, I did intensives from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. First was four weeks with Hubbard in Iowa City. We had ballet, modern, and Hubbard repertoire daily with Pilates (and Hip Hop) added in on some days. We mainly took classes with former company members, Ben and Laura, and some teachers from University of Iowa’s dance department. Some second company members also taught rep later in the intensive. After I came home from Hubbard, I had two days home before leaving for New York with my mom. We spent a week together taking campus tours and getting me used to the city because I would be living by myself in Manhattan for three weeks. Complexions did not provide housing so I stayed at the convent, Centro Maria, and it was really like I was on my own, which was a cool experience. I got into Division One of the program, but I was switched to Division Two with a bunch of at least 18 year olds. Division Two only had a ballet class and rep from 3:15 to 7:15, but it allowed me to take open classes at Ailey and Steps on Broadway, giving me kind of a third intensive. Since I went to two contemporary intensives, I got some similar corrections, but I also heard several different corrections as well. The atmospheres were completely different and for that, I am glad that I got to do both. I enjoyed working with people my age, all striving for the same goals, and I enjoyed working with people older than myself, some in college and others with a career in dance already. I am so grateful to my parents and to Dance Gallery for helping me get to the place where I am today. I will always continue growing in dance and exposing myself to new experiences because of them.

*** to read Madeline’s article on her application experiences and tips on auditioning for Summer Intensives for yourself – click here!