GRB and Small Summer Intensives

Continuing with my summer intensive theme this week. I am going to talk about two things. First, why you should consider a smaller intensive. Secondly, my experience at Grand Rapids Ballet summer intensive.

Small summer intensives are great. Going to a smaller company’s intensive is something you should really consider any summer. To give the first, obvious reason, cost. Smaller summer intensives are way more affordable, which if you are like me, makes all the difference. While the reason they are usually more affordable is a lack of housing if you find a smaller intensive by a relative you can stay with it really is a nice break on the ol’ piggy bank.

Secondly, the more individual attention. Going to a smaller intensive allows for much more personal attention with usually smaller classes you will find yourself getting more attention than you would it at a big name intensive. You know by the end of the intensive your name tag has no purpose.

My last reason to consider a smaller intensive is that they are less strenuous. Now I understand that is one of the benefits of summer intensives is that they are, intense, but just think about it. Some summers are busier than others and going to a five-week long, 9 to 5 intensive one summer may be easy one year, but overwhelming the next. With summer being the only “off-season” of ballet don’t feel like you need to cram it with a lengthy intensive, but instead give your body a break. It isn’t bad to want to do a small intensive over a big one when there is school summer work, rare family vacations, or summer jobs.That is my take on smaller summer intensives, while they don’t provide some things big intensives provide like housing, they are great for when you need a break year.

Two summers ago I went to Grand Rapids Ballet summer intensive in Michigan. It was a great first summer intensive. I got a lot of individual attention I can be sure I wouldn’t find at other places. They also brought in teachers that gave you a lot of new and varying perspectives on dance. I had Sabi Varga, a dancer that started out in Hungary to Nicole Ciapponi with a more traditional training experience teaching me while at GRB.

My most cherished memory from going to GRB was being introduced to contemporary. I looked forward to contemporary so much, it was different from the typical modern and I loved it. Thom Dancy was my teacher and he showed me a whole new side to dance to love and appreciate. It is always the things you don’t expect at these small summer intensives that make them so great.

It was a really great experience and I have no regrets about attending a smaller intensive. Smaller intensives may not be your taste, but if you’re looking for something different and more doable you should consider them. I hope you enjoyed this post and check back Friday for my last summer intensive post, discussing my experience at Oklahoma City Ballet.

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