Francisco Gella’s annual Preprofessional Dancer Institute (PDI) offers serious-minded and highly-motivated, aspiring dancers the opportunity to polish their skills and further prepare themselves to enter the world of professional dance. Over this 5-day program, an intimate group of no more than 60 dancers ages 12-18 selected by the program faculty will work intensively with acclaimed teaching artists Francisco Gella and Julie Shulman Friedrich to elevate their technique, broaden their range of stylistic diversity, and explore and hone their creative voices. Additional workshops, panels, and personal sessions with PPDI faculty, university professors and program directors, and professional dancers and company directors will empower participants to understand their professional options and prepare to thrive in their careers while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
This program offers intimate training and exposure in concert dance (ballet, modern, contemporary), show dance (Broadway and Las Vegas), commercial dance (Hollywood) and improvisational techniques, as well as pointe, men’s, and partnering. As the larger group is split into two concurrently running smaller ones, class sizes allow participants the benefit of personalized attention, while a rigorous and varied training schedule lifts dancers to meet the profession’s high expectations of endurance, focus, and adaptability.
The Pre-Professional Dancer Institute also brings students in contact with dancers and artistic staff from the collegiate and professional dance worlds. This allows upcoming professionals to engage in open conversations about their career options and the best avenues and strategies for pursuing their goals. Representatives from top college dance programs will provide insights into the requirements and benefits of BFA programs. This exposure also offers dancers the opportunity to be seen and considered by important decision-makers and receive personalized advice.
Aspiring professionals ages 12-18 will accomplish all of this through Francisco’s positive, nurturing and challenging philosophy of cultivating holistic dancers who pursue excellence in mind, body, and spirit. Participants will form a community in which members feel challenged and supported. All of this in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the country’s leading tourist destinations and cultural epicenters!