For three weeks, young dancers take five courses each day with study in Modern, Ballet, Afro-Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Improvisation, Dance History/Theory, Pointe and various somatic practices. YDW is designed to ensure reasonably sized classes and a high degree of individual attention, with students placed to meet their needs and skills.
YDW 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 YDW dancers’ learning and progress. Students will present cumulative class work from their three weeks of training. Families will meet staff, faculty and artists of the Festival, and that evening, we’ll all enjoy a performance by one of our incredible YDW faculty members in the Theatre!
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 attending the Young Dancers Workshop should plan to arrive Saturday, June 22, between 11 a.m. and 4 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.
A limited number of merit and Maine scholarships are available to students with demonstrated financial need. See the Scholarship section for details.