blue Ridge Dance Camp
The Asheville Ballet is accepting applications for its prestigious Blue Ridge Dance Camp, running in August 2020.
The resident summer intensive with Director, Ann Dunn, offers daily classes in Ballet, Pointe, Repertoire, Modern, Jazz, Choreography, and Dance History.
Serious students ages 11-18 can pursue their training in a supportive, fun environment. The professional staff ensures proper instruction at appropriate
levels. A limit of fifteen resident students guarantees individual attention.
Students stay in the home of the Director, Ann Dunn, who also does all the cooking.
Contact us now for personal advice on placement and the application process.
The Value of Blue Ridge Dance Camp
Jenny Sinfield Braswell
I was introduced to the Blue Ridge Dance Camp in the summer of 2002 through my mother who was taking a Humanities class with Ann Dunn at UNC-Asheville. I was a junior in high school, taking dance at a local studio, and heavily educated in competition-type tap and jazz. I had had a few years of simple ballet, including pointe, and no experience what-so-ever in modern dance. In thinking about college, I had already decided I would go to UNC-Greensboro for dance. I knew their program was heavily modern/contemporary and that I would need some more training before really being able to audition in a year or so.
Ann spoke to my mother about the Blue Ridge Dance Camp, a week-long summer intensive at which you live, breathe, and eat dance with the same group of girls. We actually all slept in the same room in Ann’s house. Looking back on it, I wish I would have realized the community-building experience that this camp was. Not only did we sleep in the same room, we also ate home cooked meals at the same table, brushed our teeth in the same sink, went to all the same dance classes, learned the same choreography, and viewed the same famous works of dance. It was like we were our own little touring dance company.
The week was full of jazz, ballet, modern, and choreography classes, each culminating in a short piece of choreography. In that week, dance class was redefined for me. Up to this point, my dance classes were a series of warmups progressing to reviewing and adding to choreography for a recital or competition. Classes at Blue Ridge Dance Camp had only one agenda. The agenda started at the beginning of the class and ended at the end of the class. There was no recital or competition to prepare for. The only goal was your own advancement in your personal level of dance.
Outside of the studio, we watched VHS recordings of well-known modern dance works. This was the first time I had ever seen a Paul Taylor work. The work was entitled “Roses” and it was the most beautiful dance I had ever seen. I was instantly and infinitely hooked. To this day, I have a deep, deep love for Paul Taylor and all of his work. This realization was the turning point for me.
The next spring, I began going to Fletcher School of Dance, known now as Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, and I became a corps member of The Asheville Civic Ballet, now The Asheville Ballet. I was accepted into the UNC-Greensboro Department of Dance the next fall and was immersed into the wonderful world of contemporary dance. I currently teach dance at a public arts magnet school in Greensboro, NC. I strive every day to expose my students to the many aspects of creative dance. I still love Paul Taylor and recently saw his company live for the first time. The concert was soul-fulfilling, and I cried when 82 year old Mr. Taylor shuffled out on stage in his bedroom shoes.
Ann Dunn introduced me to modern dance, to Paul Taylor, to dance class that was more class than rehearsal, to a community of dancers who supported and encouraged one another. She introduced me to the rest of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my short but life-changing experience at Blue Ridge Dance Camp.