General Information

Young Dancers Workshop: June 22-July 13, 2019

The Young Dancers Workshop is a rigorous, highly structured and carefully supervised three-week program of study designed for serious dance students, ages 14 to 18. To qualify students must have a minimum of three years of current and continuous dance training in modern technique and at least one year in ballet. The workshop enrolls up to 90 dancers and offers a unique opportunity to experience the supportive, non-competitive learning environment that has brought the Bates Dance Festival such high regard. The Young Dancers Workshop is an alternative educational experience designed to train dancers for long, injury-free and versatile careers in the changing world of dance.

The workshop offers four course periods a day. Courses are 90 minutes in the morning and 75 minutes in the afternoon with two course levels offered in most disciplines. Morning courses in modern and ballet are required. Students have the opportunity to select two elective courses for the afternoon session. In addition, students will develop material in their courses for a final showing. Mandatory placement classes are held to determine the appropriate level for each student. The program is designed to ensure reasonably sized classes and a high degree of individual attention. Qualified applicants are enrolled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students are strongly advised to apply early as enrollment is limited and the program fills quickly.

Students are carefully supervised by a dedicated and trained staff of mentors who are in graduate school or the professional dance world. The mentors live in the dormitory with the students and accompany them to classes, meals and all evening and weekend activities.

The emphasis at the Young Dancers Workshop is in shaping the whole person not only the dancing self. To that end we design activities that encourage thoughtfulness, mutual respect, and intellectual and physical curiosity and confidence. Students have frequent opportunities to interact with their faculty outside of classes during weekly faculty dinners and dorm visits.

YDW is unique in our approach to offering students direct mentorship with working professional dancers.  Rather than camp counselors, we provide mentors who have studied dance in higher education and are now working in the field as performers, choreographers, organizers, and educators.  YDW mentors are an invaluable resource who facilitate personal, professional, and artistic growth in our students.  Students at YDW have the opportunity to engage with these young professionals, gaining access and insight to what their future in dance could look like in higher education and beyond. Establishing and nourishing relationships with mentors are an important part of creating and expanding supportive networks and communities necessary to thrive in the professional world.
Students are accompanied by their mentors throughout the three weeks to provide oversight and safety.  Students meet with their mentors one-on-one during daily lunch-time check-ins, and in small groups during nightly hall meetings.  In addition, students have the unique experience to study and train alongside their mentors and visiting company professionals in classes throughout the festival.

 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 60,000 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

Students attending the Young Dancers Workshop should plan to arrive Saturday, June 22, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. All students are required to attend the orientation meeting Saturday evening at 5 p.m. The final informal showing will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 12. All students must depart on Saturday, July 13 by 11 a.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. Concord Coach Bus and Amtrak serve Portland.  Greyhound Bus Lines (Vermont Transit) offer serves directly to Lewiston.

 Room & Meals

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

 Evenings & Weekends

Evenings are filled with dance-related workshops and a variety of enjoyable, informal activities. While students cannot study with each faculty member on a daily basis, special workshops provide an opportunity to experience the work of most faculty members and accompanists.

Students will receive one ticket each to a featured festival performance.

 Financial Assistance

A limited number of merit and Maine scholarships are available to students with demonstrated financial need. See the Scholarship section for details.

 Course Selection & Registration

The Young Dancers Workshop offers a program of four classes a day – required courses in Modern and Ballet of which two levels are offered, as well as elective courses: Afro-fusion, Hip Hop, Musical Theater or Improvisation. Students choose 2 of the 4 electives.

We will also offer 4 enrichment courses to choose from; Pointe, Yoga, Spiraldynamik, and Dance in Society. Detailed information is coming soon!