General Information

Professional Training Program:  July 14 – August 5, 2018

The Bates Dance Festival brings together students, performers, educators and choreographers in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work. The Festival encourages a creative exchange of ideas, while focusing on rigorous diverse training within a supportive non-hierarchical environment.

Besides a diverse offering of technique and enrichment classes, the festival offers an informative and engaging series of evening activities. Shared meals in the College’s Dining Commons provide students and faculty with frequent opportunities to interact. Students are encouraged to perform their own and faculty works in a series of informal showings and concerts throughout the Festival. A staff of accomplished body workers offers sessions in a variety of modalities on a fee-for-service basis.

 The Location

The Festival is held on the beautifully landscaped campus of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a 45-minute drive from Portland and west of the extraordinary Maine coast. Students are invited to enjoy the College’s Museum of Art, Ladd Library, Margaret Hopkins Memorial Gymnasium (featuring Tarbell Pool and the Walter Slovenski Track, tennis, racquetball and squash courts), and the Davis Fitness Center in Underhill Arena. Lewiston-Auburn is a community of 65,000 people. The cities share the ethnic and cultural heritage of the many industrial areas — including a strong French-Canadian influence — that grew up along New England’s rivers during the 19th century.

 Arrival & Orientation

Festival students should arrive on Saturday, July 14, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in order to check in and attend the opening performance. All students must attend the orientation meeting on Sunday, July 15, at 7 p.m. All students must depart campus on Sunday, August 5, by 12 p.m.


The Portland International Jetport, serviced by Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Jetblue, Southwest, United and US Airways, is a 45-minute drive from the Bates campus. Shuttle service from the airport, bus/train station is available directly to the College and may be booked through Mermaid Transportation 207-885-5630 or Concord Coach Bus and Amtrak serve Portland.  Greyhound Bus Lines (Vermont Transit) serves directly to Lewiston.

 Room & Meals

Students are housed in College dormitories with others of similar age. Single and double rooms are available. Rooms and studios are not air-conditioned. Students living on campus must adopt the meal plan. Delicious meals are served in the College’s Dining Commons with several choices of entrees, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

  Evening And Weekend Events

Evenings are filled with a wide variety of activities including mainstage festival performances.

Other evening events include Show & Tells by resident companies, workshops, film and
video showings, panel discussions and informal jams. Full-time students (4 courses) receive
complimentary tickets to all performances. Part-time students may purchase reduced price
tickets for main stage events. On weekends students may explore the beauty of Maine by
joining organized outings or elect to participate in workshops on campus.

  Course Selection & Registration

The Three-Week Professional Training Program offers 30 daily classes taught by an outstanding roster of dance artists/educators. Full-time students enroll in four classes a day. Pre-registration for classes is part of the application process. Students are responsible for selecting classes appropriate to their level of training. Please make an informed and honest self-evaluation of your dance skills based on professional performing standards. Auditions are not required.

  • ALL students must submit a resume and short video with their application, showing evidence of at least four years of current and continuous dance training in order to qualify for admission. Students enrolling in Level III (intermediate) technique classes must have at least four years of current and continuous training in the discipline; for Level IV (high intermediate) at least five years of current and continuous training in a performing arts high school or college dance program; and for Level V (advanced) six or more years of current and continuous training in a college/post college or professional setting with the ability to dance at a highly advanced level.
  • In order to ensure space for everyone in classes you may register for no more than two technique classes and two from the remaining courses.
  • Students wishing to register for Advanced Improvisation must document significant prior study.
  • Students wishing to register for Modern Repertory must also enroll in a Modern IV or V technique class. See specific Repertory classes for details.
  • Students are strongly advised to submit their complete application package EARLY.
  • Admission and class placement occurs on a first-come, first-serve basis. Classes fill quickly and enrollment is limited! Students may elect to enroll part-time for one, two or three classes daily, but all students must enroll for the full three weeks.

 College Transcript

All students who successfully complete a full course load (full-time, 4 courses) during the Bates Dance Festival may earn one Bates College credit (pass/fail), which is equivalent to 4.0 semester hours of credit. Requests for transcripts must be made in writing directly to the Bates College Registrar and sent via snail mail in early September.

 Financial Assistance

A limited number of scholarships and fellowships are available to qualifying students.  See Scholarship section for details.

Scholarship Details