General Information

Young Dancers Intensive: June 29 -July 13, 2024

Applications are open

Young dancers take five courses each day including Modern, Ballet, Street Styles, Composition, Improvisation, and various somatic practices as well as opportunities to learn Repertory pieces with professional choreographers. YDI is designed to ensure reasonably sized classes and a high degree of individual attention, with students placed to meet their needs and skills.

YDI is unique in offering students direct mentorship with working professional dancers. Rather than camp counselors, students are paired with mentors who have studied dance in higher education, and are now working in the field as performers, choreographers, organizers, and educators. Mentors provide oversight and safety by living in the dormitory with the students and accompanying them to classes, meals and all evening and weekend activities. Students meet with their mentors one-on-one during daily lunch-time check-ins, and in small groups during nightly hall meetings.

At the end of the workshop, we invite friends and family to join our BDF family to celebrate YDI dancers’ learning and progress. Students will present cumulative class work from their two weeks of training. Families meet staff, faculty and artists of the Festival, and that evening, we all enjoy a performance by an internationally acclaimed company. 

 Covid-19 Information

BDF is dedicated to creating a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff, artists, and audiences. We will follow all CDC guidelines regarding arrival, testing, quarantining, masking, and distancing. Students will receive detailed information at the time of their acceptance into the program as well as monthly updates if any policies change.

Students are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to participate in the 2024 Festival. If you have questions or concerns about this, please email

 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. While most festival events occur on campus, there is time to explore the surrounding community of Lewiston-Auburn, two vibrant sister cities that straddle The Androscoggin River.

 Arrival & Orientation

Students should plan to arrive Saturday, June 29 between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.  All students must depart on Saturday, July 13 by 11 a.m. Students staying on for YDI: Extensions will stay through and depart campus on Saturday July 20 by 11 a.m.


The Portland International Jetport (PWM), serviced by  Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and American Airlines is a 45-minute drive from the Bates campus. Concord Coach and Amtrak serve Portland.  Greyhound Bus (Vermont Transit) serves Lewiston directly and Concord Coach Lines has stations in Auburn.

Students may also fly into Boston Logan airport (BOS), and then take a Concord Coach Lines bus to Auburn.

 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.