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The Youth Arts Program (YAP),  brings our Maine community together by inviting youth ages 6-17 together to study with world-class artists to experience music and dance firsthand.

Students are engaged in an intensive and enjoyable three weeks of performing and visual arts classes taught by a staff of gifted arts educators from around the country. YAP is a full-day (9am to 5pm) non-residential program.

*April 25 update: Enrollment for 6-9 year olds is currently full. Limited openings remain for 10-17 year olds. Please email to ask about being placed on a wait list.*

Program Details

Youth Arts Program: July 15 – August 2, 2024

YAP engages young people ages 6-17 in an intensive and enjoyable three weeks of arts classes taught by a staff of gifted arts educators. YAP is structured as a full-day (9am to 4:45pm) non-residential program. During the three-weeks students experience a range of dance/movement styles — from modern and ballet to hip hop, social dance and yoga– as well as musical genres from around the world, theater, storytelling, poetry, writing and visual arts. The arts offer meaningful ways to engage children in healthy, creative and expressive ways. Our mission is to enrich children’s lives through the arts.

Program Features

  • Every child takes dance, music, theater and visual arts classes
  • Daily classes provide dance experience from hip hop and jazz to modern, ballet and yoga
  • Music classes include singing, rhythm, drumming and music from around the world
  • Visual arts, theater and storytelling classes offer additional avenues for expression
  • Younger students develop imagination and cooperation skills in creative movement classes
  • Teens study choreography and collaborate to develop a new dance piece
  • Healthy lunch and snacks each day
  • Master classes and demonstrations by internationally renowned artists from Bates Dance Festival
  • Every child contributes to the creation of a final production that is performed in the Festival Finale
  • Complimentary tickets to select Festival performances and events
  • The arts offer meaningful ways to engage children intellectually, emotionally and physically.

Research shows that study in the arts:

  • Increases children’s self-confidence
  • Improves learning
  • Increases self-discipline and expression
  • Promotes tolerance and increases understanding of different cultures
  • Instills a sense of joy

Program Location and Dates

Youth Arts Program will take place from Monday, July 15 through Friday, August 2, from 9am to 5pm at the Mays Center on the Bates College campus. Morning drop off begins at 8:40am and afternoon pick up is by 5pm. A mandatory orientation meeting for all participants will be held on Sunday afternoon, July 14. A final performance will take place Friday, August 2 in the late afternoon.

For more information email the Director of Training Programs, Alexandra James at the Bates Dance Festival office,

Program Costs

The program fee is $825 plus the non-refundable $40 application fee and credit card processing fee. The program cost covers the three-week program including lunch in the Bates Dining Common, daily snacks and complimentary tickets for select Festival events.

*Fee waivers are available for applicants in need. Please find details here. If you have any questions or concerns, please email

Early Bird Discount

Families who enroll their student by April 30 receive an early bird discount of $750.

Admission Requirements

  • Enthusiasm for the arts – dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing
  • Willingness to try new things and contribute ideas

Children with no experience or lots of experience can participate, gain new skills, and HAVE FUN!


The Bates Dance Festival offers partial and full YAP scholarships. Within the application, families can indicate their specific need, and are asked to provide a written statement outlining their current financial landscape, contextualizing their circumstances.

Registration Process and Deadline

Applications open February 20 and students will be admitted, on a rolling basis, until each age group is filled. Please note, our youngest age groups fill quickly!


If notified by June 14th, 2024 a full refund will be made less a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be made after this date.

Program Sponsors

Youth Arts is made possible with generous support from:   The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation

Faculty & Staff

Professional, experienced, nationally recognized artists and teachers of children.

Rob Flax (music instructor) is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Evanston, IL with a playful heart and an open mind. He has performed nationally and internationally with groups of many different styles, including opening for B.B. King and Tower of Power, playing viola and violin with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and YouTube star Jacob Collier, upright bass in an Argentine tango ensemble, mandolin and fiddle in various bluegrass bands, electric violin in several rock bands, collaborations with modern dancers, and more. As a composer Rob has written music for choreographers, film (including work on the soundtrack of James Franco’s film As I Lay Dying), and several original projects. Rob is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory (M.M. 2012 – Contemporary Improvisation, Music In Education), and he currently lives in Boston, MA.

Kirkland Green is a New Orleans-based singer/songwriter and theatre performer, who serves as the Development Director for Upturn Arts. He can often be seen on Frenchman Street performing as the front-man for Kirkland Green and The Analog Machine and recently released an original RnB/ Neo-Soul single entitled “Promises”. Additionally, Kirkland has performed with multiple theatre companies in the New Orleans area such as Rivertown Theatre, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Le Petite De Viex Carre Theatre, and Theatre Baton Rouge. As of April 2024, he is working in Sister Act the Musical as “Curtis” at Rivertown Theatre. Kirkland believes that music and storytelling are tools designed to make people feel. From the church to Frenchman Street, he utilizes the style of influential Black musicians well-versed in Gospel, Soul, Jazz, and R&B to create his own Neo-Soul world. As the Development Director for Upturn Arts, Kirkland has cultivated a unique perspective driving the importance of providing arts education to children ages 4-12. In this position, he realizes and capitalizes on the importance of nurturing young artists to ensure they have the tools and space to grow. Consequently, they are able to creatively occupy spaces in the beautiful city of New Orleans, which thrives as a result of its music and history.

Terrence Karn  (Music Director/instructor)  is a dance and musical artist/composer/educator. He began his career as a dance musician in 1971 at the Minnesota Dance Theatre. During the 1980s, Terrence taught character dance at Houston Ballet Academy and was a dance accompanist for over nine years. He was a resident Dance Musician/ Composer in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Houston (1999-2007), Denison University’s Department of Dance (2007-2011) and at The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (2012-2015) Terrence has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Karen Stokes Dance, and Core Performance Company and has had a long-time affiliation with Jane Weiner and Hope Stone Dance company as an educator and musician. Terrence is the cofounder of Gypsy Dance Theatre, a Texas-based world music and dance ensemble. He was a member of Black Isles Belly Dance Theatre and The Fandazzi Fire Circus based in Minneapolis, MN 2015/2016. Currently, Terrence works in Houston, TX in the Fall, at Houston Ballet, The High School For Performing and Visual Arts, The University of Houston, Hope Stone and The Texas Renaissance Festival. In the winter and spring Terrence lives  Lewiston, Maine and accompanies dance at Bates College and Bowdoin College. Karn will return to the Bates Dance Festival for his 21st. year as Musical Director for the Youth Arts Program. Terrence has recorded six all original music CDs. He has composed numerous works for dance companies on planet earth and has played for over 20,727 dance classes and counting.

Born and raised in the DMV metropolitan area, Chris Law is a lover of hip hop who continues to study dance culture and its integrations with social justice. He has completed undergraduate and graduate studies from the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), receiving an MFA in Dance and Choreography. As a devoted teacher and student of his craft, Chris’ knowledge of hip hop, martial arts, vogue, modern dance, and self-taught urban movement uniquely allows him to guide diverse students and audience members through a fusion of different movement forms. He is an alumni of DyNaMiC Hip Hop Dance Team, Culture Shock DC, and has showcased his work at cyphers, pop-up performances, and creative concept videos in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area. He has taught and choreographed at various institutions including the Kennedy Center, Dance Place, Howard University, UMCP, Howard Community College, the Baltimore County Dance Festival, and The Lion’s Den.

Mariama “Ama” Law (Hip Hop Dance Instructor) was born into African dance culture through Kankouran West African Dance Company, as both parents are founding members. While at University of Maryland (UMD), Ama enjoyed dancing, choreographing and directing DyNaMiC hip hop dance team. Ama graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in Women’s Studies. After undergrad, Ama intensely studied in New York completing a professional semester at Broadway Dance Center and worked at various physical therapy clinics assisting Howard University dance majors in the recovery process.

As an alumni of local DMV hip hop groups Culture Shock D.C. and KickRocks crew, Ama enjoys staying grounded and connected with the community. Currently, Ama is involved in the rotation of lovely humans teaching at Dance Place DC as part of the Rooting the Dance Series! Ama is also a co-director of Project ChArma, a collective of teaching artists, and hip hop lovers who promote social change through movement. Project ChArma will be presented at the Kennedy Center in April 2024 as the newest recipients of the Local Dance Commissioning Fund!

Ama received her MFA in dance from UMD and is delighted to return as an Artist-in-Residence for the 2023-2025 season. She is a passionate educator, always searching for new avenues to provide inspiration to the future generation of movers to not only become fierce but knowledgeable individuals.

Joyce Lindsey (Art Instructor) is a Chicago native. She received her BA from Denison University in 2014 and her MM in Music Production, Technology and Innovation at Berklee Valencia in 2019. She has dedicated twelve years of her life studying and practicing live performance, music production, music technology, sound design, and multiple world percussion instruments such as djembe, dunduns, congas, and doumbek. Joyce started her training as a dance accompanist as a student musician at the Doane Dance Department at Denison University. She also attended the American Dance Festival as a music intern for four consecutive summers between 2011 – 2014. Since 2015, Joyce has simultaneously built her career as an educator, dance accompanist, live performer, and music producer/sound designer.  She has been a resident teaching artist at Discover Music Discover Life for seven years.  Joyce has worked as a professional dance accompanist providing live percussion and electronic music for multiple dance studios, universities, and art schools in Chicago such as the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Columbia College, Northwestern University, ChiArts, Chicago Academy for the Art, the Chicago Movement Collective and DanceWorks. Joyce continues to provide live percussion for modern, ballet and West African dance classes at Columbia College and Hyde Park School of Dance.

Madeline Warriner (YAP Co-Director) is a movement artist, educator, and advocate residing in Brooklyn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance and an MEd in Dance Education, where she received university, state, and professional awards.  She has performed works by Doug Elkins, Manuel Vignouelle, and Robert Battle, Stephan Koplowitz, and more. She was a company member with The Equus Projects for 5+ years and is currently working with Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in the movement collective loveconductors. She has taught dance outreach throughout NYC and the tri-state area, Vermont, Maine, and D.C. She also teaches yoga and pilates  and created Harlem Yoga Studio’s Kids Yoga Teacher Training. She has shared her research and practice on movement, mindfulness, and cognitive development in various education professional development workshops and conferences.


When you reach the registration website select “Youth Arts Program” from the drop down list of application options.

*April 25 update: Enrollment for 6-9 year olds is currently full. Limited openings remain for 10-17 year olds. Please email to ask about being placed on a wait list.*