The Washington Ballet at THEARC in Southeast presented their Summer Dance Intensive Showcase 2018 with young dancers illustrating their growing skills on Friday, July 20. (Photo by Roy Lewis)

This year 35 students including some that have come as far away as Colorado took up to eight classes a day at THEARC in Southeast where the Washington Ballet [TWB] held its Summer Intensive. In the evening up to 116 students attended the program.
The Washington Ballet boasts partnerships in the building with Levine Music for Music, Phillips Collection for Art, THEARC farm – gardening, DC Central Kitchen, which provided breakfast and lunch, THEARC Theater and the iCAN intern program that helped produce the ballet’s final performance in the theater.
Started 13 years ago by Katrina Toews, director of TWB at THEARC, the Integrated Summer Program has many elements, which is why she threads a theme to draw the different classes closer together.
This year’s theme is “Our Dance Lives Matter.”
Past students have experienced the connection between dance and other art forms through her innovative leadership and have shared their excitement discovering how dance and art are much more similar than they realized, according to TWB.
During the four week summer intensive dancers emerge from the fast-paced program with classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, African dance, character, stretch, composition and dance history. In their final performance they shared their experience of finding self-awareness and self-discipline through dance being an art form.
“This is a unique ‘behind the scenes’ opportunity to see how inner-city kids can change their life trajectory through the arts,” TWB said.

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