By Chelsea Wiggs

JU Communications Major

Jacksonville University welcomed youth dancers this month to its two-week Summer Dance Intensive, a unique opportunity for pre-professional and intermediate/advanced students to train with professionals to learn what it takes to stay on pointe.judanceintensiveSMALL3.jpg

The 2013 Dance Intensive June 10-14 and 17-21 welcomed 13 students between ages 11 -18 to classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, repertory and more in preparation for their camp finale, a choreographed performance in the Swisher Auditorium to showcase their hard work.

judanceintensiveSMALL4.jpgErin LaSala, dance instructor at Kent State University and third-year faculty member of JU’s Dance Intensive, expressed how much dedication the campers demonstrated.

“They all have the same drive and want to get better, and really, they have great work ethic,” she said. “They come into class and they’re ready to go.”

LaSala earned a bachelor’s degree in dance education from the University of South Florida and a master’s in dance choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This year’s Dance Intensive also included three other faculty members who have performed nationally and internationally and hold at least a bachelor’s degree in dance in addition to their impressive professional dance resumes.

While the Dance Intensive is designed for dancers with some amount of dance experience, there is no skill level that must be met to attend. However, in order to receive one of the limited number of talent and need-based scholarships, the student’s technical strength and level of accomplishment are taken into consideration.

Despite the individual skill level or age of each student, LaSala said the Summer Dance Intensive at JU never disappoints, and this year’s camp was no exception.

“I enjoy that the students that come here want to be here and want to dance,” she said.

More coverage on the camp from The Florida Times-Union can be found at http://waveweekly.ju.edu/?p=8430.