Incoming DDD freshman Keira Chapman attended the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp on scholarship this summer. Located in Michigan’s Manistee National Forest, Blue Lake’s dance program is designed to challenge young dancers, and enhance their current level of training through a diverse curriculum. Dancers receive five hours of daily instruction that includes courses in ballet technique, contemporary/modern technique, point or pre-pointe, and partnering. The program also provides opportunities to learn original repertoire that challenges a dancer’s movement, vocabulary and increase their ability to quickly learn choreography. Workshops in injury prevention, dance composition, improvisation, dance history, and careers in dance help to provide a well-rounded summer dance experience.
Last fall, Keira began thinking about attending Blue Lake, and was looking for scholarship opportunities. Then, at Elite Experience 2019, Keira was surprised by Miss Jillian and DDD staff when she was presented with the scholarship. Keira recalls, “I literally cried as soon as I got off stage because I was so happy and excited. Receiving this scholarship was super crazy, and it meant so much to me that Ms. Jillian chose me for this amazing opportunity.”
Attending Blue Lake’s camp is very demanding as it is a twelve day intensive program. “The fact that I would be able to dance for five hours everyday motivated me to go because I knew it would help me improve immensely in many different ways,” said Keira. She also highly recommends the camp for other dancers if they are willing to commit to the program because “you definitely get what you put into it.”
Throughout the program, Keira improved her technique, learned a variety of ways to move, especially in Modern, and learned about what it is like as a working dancer. And, equally as important, Keira grew as a person and developed new relationships while at camp. “As tiring as it was, one of my favorite things about camp was the crazy amount of walking we did to get from place to place. During this time, I was able to get to know many people and make some fun memories.”
As the 2020 season gears up this month, Keira is excited for the challenges and new experiences ahead. “I’m really excited to hopefully get some new styles of dances, and work with new groups of dancers. I not only want to keep pushing myself skill-wise, but also to get to know more of my fellow dancers better this season.”
*Congratulations on recently passing your Grade II Cecchetti Ballet Exam!