The Toughest Job on Campus

While our students have been busy taking class, watching shows, participating in workshops and getting to know one another, their counselors have been hard at work making sure they are healthy and happy. Their job is truly a 24 hour, 7 day a week responsibility. And one that they do with kindness and care! I have never met a group of people that are quite as charismatic, caring and enthusiastic about dance as these counselors.

Counselor Laquimah VanDunk leads students through their morning warm-up.

Counselor Laquimah VanDunk leads students through their morning warm-up.

Our counselors are professional dancers that come from all over the country in order to work and dance at the festival all summer. Along with their more general duties at the dorm they also lead various workshops for the students, choreograph works for the works-in-progress showing and give advice on all things dance related. They are some of the best sources for information on injury prevention, choreography and dancing in the professional world.

An average day starts off by leading the morning warm-up in Chase Hall. All the counselors lead the warm-ups at some point and their styles range from gentle yoga to energetic cardio workouts. Counselors take classes with the students throughout the day as another source of help and guidance in the classroom. There is always a counselor in one of the classes to look out for our injured students and participate in class. Each day at lunch, dancers check in with their counselors about their injuries and general well being.

All 10 of our counselors at "Counselor Confessions" night. Students were able to ask their counselors questions about their lives and dance experiences.

All 10 of our counselors at “Counselor Confessions” night. Students were able to ask their counselors questions about their lives and dance experiences.

After a full day of classes and evening performances or workshops, counselors lead hall meetings with their groups. Hall meetings are a chance for the students to ruminate on what they have learned that day. Each night the counselors ask a “go around question” which can be serious or silly. Giving the dancers a chance to let off steam or reflect upon their experiences.

Counselors are also in charge of all the student activities over the weekends. They plan workshops, like the site specific workshop held last weekend, and help coordinate trips like the one to Range Pond. These counselors are such a big part of what makes the Young Dancers Workshop an encouraging and safe place to learn. We are lucky to have their talents and energy!

Head Counselor Mary Lachman leads a yoga workshop for the dancers on their day off.

Head Counselor, Mary Lachman leads a yoga workshop for the dancers.

-Posted by Caroline Barna. Caroline is BDF’s Social Media Intern for the 2013 summer.

Stay in touch. Join our email list:

Sign Up Now