Why Dance in the Summer?

I remember the days when I used to run a dance studio nine months out of the year.  Now I can’t imagine not offering classes during the summer. When we began summer classes in Steamboat years ago, the first question asked was “why does my child need to dance over the summer?” Taking class during the summer months is an ideal time for dancers to focus on improving their skill-sets, and at a time where the only distraction is the Colorado sun, and not math class. Although taking summer dance classes can improve your level, it is not the only reason to do it.

Try something new! Summer is a great time to try new styles, new instructors, and make new friends.  Every family is extremely busy beginning in the fall, and, especially during the winter months.  Taking the time to experiment with new activities once school gets out may just find you falling in love with a different dance style you never thought you would even like.  And if you try something new, and it doesn’t go as well as you hoped, well then you can cross that off the list. Either way you’ve learned something about yourself and you’ve opened the door to new opportunities.

Be consistent. After taking time off from dance due to an injury, I’ve learned a lot in physical therapy. I don’t think athletes are doing themselves any favors by taking two or three months off in the summer, and, the same goes for dancers.  In fact, I believe an athlete who takes too much time off is subjecting themselves to injury when not taking advantage of conditioning on a consistent basis. YES, taking a break is important, but if your goal is to dance in the fall, you should be maintaining your body and strength and training those muscles to prepare yourself for your goals for the full season of dance.

Reflect and set goals. The summer is a great time to start a dance journal. Without any school pressures, a journal will help you open up yourself to reflection and set goals for the next dance season.  Think about the dance season you just came through and ask yourself, what’s next?

Cross train. Begin the summer cross training with swimming, stretching, strength training, biking, hiking or anything you love. Cross training is a great way to maintain your body and build strength for the next season. As the summer progresses, you can gradually increase the number of hours you’re dancing with the intention of getting as close as possible to the actual number of hours you’ll be dancing in the fall.

Our summers in Colorado are short, so don’t let it pass you by without taking advantage of the classes and incredible instructors! Spots are filling up fast – click here to register today!

Meet our summer teachers:

Jazz Intensive July 31-Aug. 3: Renee Fleischer

We are excited to announce that 8100’s very own Renee Fleischer will be teaching our Jazz Intensive from July 31-Aug. 3 from 9am-3pm for ages 9-18. Dancers will have the opportunity to refine their technique and build artistic growth through five hours of classes and workshops over a five day period. Each intensive will culminate with a performance & presentation of skills learned during the intensive.

As owner and Artistic Director of Studio 8100, Fleischer has been training in dance since she was three-years-old. She was a dance major at Arizona State University, and received a scholarship at the Academy of Performing Arts in San Diego, California after college. Fleischer began a professional dance career as a San Diego Charger girl, before moving to Vail, CO in 1999, where she was a Denver Broncos Cheerleader until 2001. As an NFL Cheerleader, Fleischer performed in two American Bowls in Japan and Australia. Fleischer began teaching Jazz as a United Spirit Association Advanced Jazz Dance Instructor, and has been teaching Jazz for over 18 years. Her choreography credits include the Vail Valley Academy of Dance, The Dollhouse Revue, Dream Project, The Steamboat Dance Theater, Elevation Dance Studio’s Nutcracker, recitals and Elevation Dance Studio Competition Teams.

Contemporary Intensive June 25-28: Jonathan Royse Windham

Studio 8100 welcomes back Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” Jonathan Royse Windham, who will be teaching a Contemporary Intensive for dancers ages 10 and up. From June 25-28 from 9am-2pm, Windham will be teaching a Contemporary Intensive, which will include: Ballet Barre, Contemporary Technique & Choreography, Improv, and Body Maintenance & Conditioning.

Windham is a native of Vail Colorado. He has a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase and was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2013 for his performance with Gallim Dance. He has also worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, American Repertory Ballet, Company XIV’s Nutcracker Rouge, Ramon Oller, The Kevin Wynn Collective, Alexandre Proia, and the DASH Ensemble. Most recently, Windham was a part of the original revival company of “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway, choreographed by Hofesh Shechter. Windham’s choreography has been seen in theaters all over the U.S., including the theater at Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Dixon Place, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Contemporary Dance Wyoming, among other. Teaching credits include: Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Oswego, Skidmore College, Houston School for the Performing Art, Goucher College, Dancewave, and the Capezio Peridance Center.

Ballet Intensive July 16-19: Ashley Kohl

Studio 8100 welcomes Ashley Kohl, who will be teaching our Ballet Intensive July 16-19 from 9am-11:30am for ages 8-10 and from 12:30pm-4:30pm for ages 11 and up. The Ballet Intensive offers dancers the opportunity to refine their technique and build artistic growth through  hours of classes and workshops over a 5 day period. Each intensive will culminate with a performance and presentation of skills learned during the intensive. Students will receive individualize attention to enrich their experience. Classes may include: Barre, Floor Barre, Center Work, Repertoire Variations, Partnering, Modern, and Strength & Stretch.

Kohl recently moved to Colorado from New York City. She has been in countless performances with Atlanta Ballet School, The Boston Conservatory,  Merce Cunningham Theater,  The Metropolitan Opera and many more. Training & Education: The Boston Conservatory-Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, 2 years focus on Ballet Pedagogy Dance-Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education, American Ballet Theater, and Boston Ballet.

Hip Hop Intensive Aug. 8-18: Tiana Buschmann & Stephanie Kohlhardt

Aug. 6-8 from 9am-3pm for dancers ages 8-18, students will be offered an incredible opportunity to work with Tiana Buschmann and Stephanie Kohlhardt at our Hip Hop Intensive. The intensive will help dancers refine their technique and build artistic growth through six hours of classes and workshops each day. The intensive will culminate with a performance and presentation of skills learned during the intensive. Classes may include: Strength & Stretch, Breakdance, Commercial Hip Hop, Tumbling for Hip Hop, Performance Techniques, Choreography, Locking, Jazz Funk, and Freestyle. Students will be divided into two groups on their first day of the intensive based on their level.

Tiana Buschmann has lived and danced in the Yampa Valley since 1996.  She trained at Motion Underground, The EDGE, and Millennium Dance Complex and continues training at every opportunity available. Buschmann has toured Colorado and California performing in the theatrical Hip Hop dance company Motion Elite. She served as VP of Steamboat Dance Theatre for two years and was a contributing choreographer for eight years. Buschmann has also directed Elevation Dance Studio’s Company, Pre-Professional, Elite & Premier Dance Competition Teams since 2016.

Stephanie Kohlhardt started her passion for dance at the early age of 3 while taking ballet jazz, ad tap in Loveland, CO. She began competing in contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, jazz and ballet at conventions such as LA Dance Magic and New York City Dance Alliance. She began teaching at Broadway Bound Dance Academy at the age of 16 and coached and choreographed the BBDA Senior Competition team from 2008-2010. In college, Kohlhardt performed countless shows with the Colorado State University Dance Department and continued studying ballet, jazz, and modern under CSU professors of dance Melissa Corr, Carol Roderick, and Chun-Fu Chang. Kohlhardt was also a part of the CSU Golden Poms, where she performed at the CSU football and baskeball games and competed at the United Dance Association (UDA) Nationals for 2007. Kohlhardt is also the Fitness Director at Elevation Dance Studio in Steamboat Springs.

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