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.
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 Friday, June 22, between 1 and 5 p.m. All students are required to attend the orientation meeting Friday evening at 7 p.m. and the placement classes on Monday, June 25. Students will have an opportunity to sample different classes on Saturday and Sunday, June 23 & 24. The final informal showing will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 12. All students must depart on Friday, 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. 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 www.gomermaid.com. 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.
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. The morning session consists of required courses in modern and ballet of which two levels are offered. For the afternoon session students may select two of the following elective courses: Jazz, Hip Hop, Repertory or Improvisation.
New in 2018, we are also offering 4 enrichment courses to choose from; Pointe, Musical Theater Dance, Kinstretch, and Dance in Society. Read about these new programs on our courses page!