Name: Jodi Chung
Where are you from? Los Angeles, CA
Where do you dance and/or train during the year? California Dance Theatre
Summer Intensive: Cincinnati Ballet Summer Intensive
Length of intensive: 6 weeks
Why did you choose the Cincinnati Ballet Summer Intensive?
I saw and heard many good things about it from friends and on social media! I also really enjoyed the audition, and the studios looked absolutely gorgeous when I was researching.
What was the audition process like?
It was an audition of about 25 people, and it was taught at the Colburn School by a current Colburn teacher who was a former company member with Cincinnati Ballet. Ms. Sarah, the academy director, was on Zoom watching the class.
Can you give us an inside look into the housing/residential experience?
We stayed in the dorms at Northern Kentucky University, which was about a 15 minute bus ride to and from the Cincinnati studios! The residence hall we stayed in was just newly built so everything was clean and nice. The dorms are suite-style, there are two rooms to a suite with two people in each room and a shared bathroom for all 4 people. The dining hall was less than a 5 minute walk from the dorms. They served breakfast, a bagged lunch that we took to the studios, and dinner on the weekdays, as well as brunch and dinner on the weekends.
The RAs that were chaperoning our program lived with us in the dorms and were super nice and supportive. All of the RAs had a background in dance, and half of the team danced in the program with us, which was really cool.
On the weekends (since we did not have class), we were chaperoned to different outings all over the Cincinnati area, including a riverboat cruise, an amusement park trip, a Moving Arts performance, and more!
How was your level determined?
We had both a technique and pointe placement class on the first day of the intensive that determined our level!
What classes did you take? Which were your favorites, and why?
We had 4 classes every day. Usually those consisted of technique, pointe, variations, and a class in another dance style like contemporary.
The technique class was 2 hours followed by at least one pointe class every day, whether that be an actual pointe class, variations, or pas de deux. We had such a wide variety of classes, which I really enjoyed.
We got to do so many different styles of dance including modern, contemporary, musical theater, street dance, African, and Bollywood. There were also conditioning and Pilates classes at the end of our days sometimes. For the first 3 weeks, we had a "Meet the Artist" seminar with the guest teachers once a week.
There were so many incredible guest teachers; one of my favorite classes out of the entire summer was class with Kathryn Morgan. I also really enjoyed classes with Daniel Durrett from Boston Ballet and getting to be taught by current Cincinnati Ballet company members.
Classes with Ms. Sarah, the academy director, and Ms. Jen, a former New York City Ballet company member, were always challenging and really pushed me to improve a lot. Overall, I loved all of my classes. Having such a diverse schedule with so many hours of intense dancing helped set me up to become a much better dancer.
What was a typical day like?
- 7:00-7:30 am: Wake up and get ready
- 7:30-8:00: Walk to the dining hall with friends for breakfast and grab our bagged lunches for the day.
- 8:00-8:30: Go back to the dorms,finish up getting ready for the day, and leave on the buses at 8:30.
- 8:45: Warm up until class starts
- 9:30-11:30: Technique class
- 11:30-12:45 pm: Pointe class
- 12:45-2:00: Lunch break with friends
- 2:00-3:15: Variations
- 3:15-3:45: Break
- 3:45-5:00: Different style of class (example: Modern)
- 5:00-end of day: Take bus back to dorms for dinner. After dinner, I would often hang out with friends, ice and massage, watch movies, eat snacks, and wind down after a long day of dancing.
How did you like being in Cincinnati for the summer? Do you have any suggestions of must-do activities or places to go for someone who may attend this intensive in the future?
I absolutely loved being in Cincinnati for the summer! Besides the incredible dancing and beautiful facility, Cincinnati is such a pretty city and has so much to offer. There are so many cute cafes and places to eat, and walking around in the city is so nice.
For anyone who might attend the intensive in the future, I would definitely recommend signing up for as many weekend excursions as you can! They were definitely one of the main highlights of my summer, and I had such a great time getting to go and see things in Cincinnati with my friends. Going to the King’s Island amusement park was one of my absolute favorite excursions. We also went to a Cincinnati Reds game, the Cincinnati Zoo, the opera house, a hot air balloon glow in the park, and more.
Any words of wisdom from your summer intensive teachers that you will carry with you throughout your dance career?
Beyond just technique, so many of my amazing summer intensive teachers taught us about using your artistry, and how that helps you as a dancer. It was super inspiring, and I will definitely carry that with me, as I know how important artistry is. I also learned more about working effectively as a dancer, and how to be realistic with yourself. It’s okay to have days where you are off, and you need to be smart with your dancing; you don’t have to go 110% all the time.
What were the most memorable moments of the intensive?
One of the most memorable moments of the intensive was definitely the end of the program showcase. Our level got to do excerpts from Don Quixote, and I got to do one of the Bridesmaids variations. We also did a really cool contemporary piece. It was so much fun to be able to perform it for the parents, and I had a ton of fun dancing the repertoire with my friends.
Another memorable moment from the intensive was pas de deux class. Since I don’t usually do pas during the year, it is always such a privilege. I really enjoy getting to dance with a partner, so it was definitely one of my favorite classes! Variations classes were also really memorable for me. I loved getting to learn so many different variations! It was also super fun to watch my friends dance, and we were all so supportive of each other... I loved it.
Any other fun things to share about the program?
I honestly had such an amazing summer! I was able to meet so many wonderful people, the teachers were incredible, the dorms were fun, the weekend excursions were such a blast, and the studios and the city were just so gorgeous! I miss it lots. I really grew, both as a dancer and as a person, during my time there.