Dance

Our Summer Dance PrograM

In our summer dance program, our dancers study technique, classic repertory, and original choreography with nationally renowned dancers and choreographers. We offer classes across a wide range of styles and traditions, including contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, funk and tap. 

Instruction at our dance camp is rigorous, caring and fun.  Our studios are spacious and mirrored, with soft floors and generous skylights that give an open-air effect. Each class culminates in a freshly choreographed dance performance for the entire community, including friends and family, in the dance department studios or on Usdan’s main stage.

2019 MAJORS

Advanced Ballet; Advanced Contemporary; Choreographic Institute; Dance Adventure; Dance Ensemble; Intermediate Ballet.

2019 MINORS

Beginner Ballet; Broadway Jazz; Dance Adventure; Hip Hop; Intermediate Ballet; Modern Contemporary; Tap; West African.

 

2018 Faculty

Tap

Jessica Azenberg

Born and raised in New York City, Jessica Azenberg made her professional debut on ABC’s One Life to Live as “Baby Jessica.” A serious ballet student growing up, she trained at the School of American Ballet, Manhattan Youth Ballet, Ballet Academy East, Miami City Ballet and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She attended high school at the Professional Children’s School and received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Boston Conservatory. Since graduating college, Jessica has worked at many theaters around the country. Some of her favorite theatre credits include Spamalot (Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre), Hello! My Baby (Goodspeed Musicals), A Christmas Carol: The Musical (Pioneer Theatre Company), Hello, Dolly! (Cape Playhouse) and Thoroughly Modern Millie(Ogunquit Playhouse). In addition to performing, Jessica is a passionate dance instructor and currently teaches at Shuffles Broadway Tap and Musical Theatre School and Dance With Miss Rachel in New York City.    

Did you yourself attend Usdan?  
I attended USDAN when I was 8 and 9yrs old. My major was ballet and my minor was Tap. I actually started Tap Dancing at USDAN!

Dance Ensemble, Dance Adventure

Gentry George

Dancer/choreographer Gentry George began his artistic studies at age eight with the Founder of The Community Book and Dance Academy Linda Agyapong. He went on to graduate from New World School of the Arts in 2008 and graduate from Juilliard in 2012.  A former Dance Artist for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Ailey II, Gentry is currently a Guest Artist at Randolph College; Central Connecticut State University; and Newark Arts High.  He also teaches Ballet and choreographs for the youth ensemble both at the Dance Project of Washington Heights. Gentry received a Level 1 ARTS award, given by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and is featured on HBO’s “Masterclass.” He has presented work throughout New York, New Jersey, and Florida including NYC’s SummerStage; Dixon Place; HarlemStage Gatehouse Theater; The Wassaic Project; Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning; Madiba Harlem; and Fort Tryon Park, among others.

Broadway Jazz, West African Dance

Nia Lancelin

Dance Department Chair

Juliana May

Ballet

Rachel Mazur

Costumer

Barbara Morse

Choreographer - Choreographic Institute

Angela Pittman

Dance

Diana Crum

Diana Crum is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, dancer, teacher, administrator and advocate. She has made site-specific work, commissioned by loveDANCEmore (Salt Lake City) and chashama (NYC). Diana has created platforms for multi-generational collaborative performance events, including On a Sunday Afternoon, (2016, Drew University) and AUNTS, nieces, nephews and grandparents (2014, Abrons Art Center). Currently, she serves as Movement Research Dance Makers in the Schools Program Director, and also works with organizations such as 92Y, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange as a teaching artist in NYC preK-12 schools. She has taught as Visiting Artist/Adjunct Faculty at Washington & Lee University (VA), University of the Arts (PA) & Hollins University (VA), among others.

What’s the most unusual or interesting part of the teaching process? 
The best part is getting to know the students.     
     

Dance

Xan Burley + Alex Springer

Xan Burley + Alex Springer have been collaborating as performers, choreographers, teachers, and arts administrators since 2008. Their work has been presented by Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out; Center for Performance Research; Danspace Project’s DraftWork series; Movement Research at the Judson Church; Brooklyn Arts Exchange; DanceNOW Joe’s Pub Festival; and the 92Y, among others, and will be presented at the American Dance Festival this June. The dup were members of Doug Varone and Dancers until 2017 and have performed extensively with other artists in NYC and elsewhere. They have taught classes and created work for many university dance departments, youth programs, and professional companies, most recently for Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis, MN, and were guest faculty at Purchase College from 2014-2017. In addition, Xan was on faculty as the teen modern instructor at the 92Y from 2011-15 and has held teaching positions at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Cora Dance, Pave Academy, and Poly Prep Performing Arts Camp. Alex taught for the 92Y Summer Teen Intensive in 2011 and was on faculty at Bates Dance Festival in 2013 and 2016. Both teach frequently in the city at Gibney. They were honored to receive the 2015 Emerging Artist Award from their alma mater, the University of Michigan. This spring, the two are  teaching as Artists-in-Residence at the University of Maryland and caring for their baby boy, Jasper.

Why did you choose to work at Usdan? 
Summer programs were some of the most formative experiences for us. We look forward to sharing our love of dance with the future generation.

Dance/Choreography

Brian Brooks

Brian Brooks is a talented dancer, teacher and choreographer who founded and leads an eponymous dance troupe in New York City. He has created dances for Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, The Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Harvard University, and many others. Beyond his company, he has choreographed off-Broadway Shakespeare productions for Theatre for a New Audience including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), directed by Julie Taymor, and Pericles (2016), directed by Trevor Nunn.  As well, Brian dedicated 12 years as a Teaching Artist at Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education and has been on part-time faculty at Rutgers University and Princeton University. 

What other departments are you most excited to collaborate with? 
Any! All! My next research project will explore the intersection of dance and virtual reality – I love expanding my knowledge base and integrating my work with other disciplines.

Hip Hop

Jacqueline Selesky

A native of Long Island, Artist/educator Jacqueline Selesky was introduced to dance at Diversity School of Dance at the tender age of seven. Jacqueline is now with the elite Bloc Agency and has performed with Rita Ora on Live with Kelly; Good Morning America with Demi Lovato, and The Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show with Cardi B and G-Easy. She has also performed choreographed pieces by Bill T. Jones, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and Frederick Earl Mosley, and was the lead soloist in Martha Graham's Daughters of the Night, Night Journey (Joyce Theatre, NYC). Jacqueline is in her third season with Asha Dance Company. She was privileged to travel to Steamboat, Colorado for a residency with the Antonio Brown Dance Company at the exclusive Perry Mansfield. She was the lead actress in The Truth Urban Theatre Group’s production of VIVA AFRICA, and has appeared in an Ultimate Ears Speakers commercial, Nutrafol Hair Care commercial, and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Netflix series. She was also a model and dancer with Mac Cosmetics. Immediately following graduation from Montclair University, Jacqueline was afforded the opportunity to teach in the Orange Public School District in New Jersey as a K-12 Dance Teacher. 
 
Who inspires you/who do you admire in the industry? 

I admire all of the choreographers I have worked with and aspire to work with in the industry as well as all the struggling artists that are grinding right along side me to be the best version of themselves.

Departments

Art

Art

Chess

Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Dance

Dance

music-summer-program

Music

Nature

Nature

summer-arts-camps-for-kids

Discovery

recreational-arts

Recreational Arts

summer-theater-program

Theater

Art

 

Campers love Usdan’s summer art programs because our diverse class offerings allow for both deep engagement and exploration.

Seventy open-air studios dot the forested campus and create a sense of flow and community among artists.  Each studio is tailored to its medium with materials, equipment and software. Studios feature large skylights, as well as courtyards that take advantage of natural light and the inspiration of nature, which is a distinguishing feature of Usdan’s summer art programs. Throughout the summer, campers can visit the campus art gallery which mounts student, faculty, and visiting-artist exhibitions.

2019 MAJORS

Animation; Architecture; Art Adventure; Ceramics; Comic Art; Cosplay; Design Your World in 3D;  Metalsmithing; Open Studio for 2D; Pinting & Drawing; Photography; Sculpture; Sewing & Fashion Design; Video Game Art & Design.

2019 MINORS

Advanced Painting & Drawing; Art Adventure; Comic Art; Intermediate Drawing: Life Drawing; Intermediate Photography; Lego Design; Painting & Drawing; Photography.

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Chess

Usdan’s chess summer camp program follows the principles of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation and is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each student, whether they are new to chess or are experienced competitors. The Usdan Chess Ladder groups students in varying levels, from absolute novices to advanced tournament players. New players learn rules, notation, and the opening, middle, and end games. Advanced players develop a vast repertoire of complex strategies and the ability to apply them shrewdly in-game. All of our chess players benefit from improved problem solving, critical thinking, and concentration.  Students hone their skills through game-play and tutoring in competitive chess tournaments and exciting team competitions. Individual and group lessons are conducted by highly-ranked tournament players with decades of experience.  A major highlight of our chess summer camp is that celebrated chess masters come to Usdan to serve as guest teachers and share their expertise with our young players.

For more detailed information, please visit our Classes page.

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Creative Writing

Creative Writing at Usdan takes full advantage of New York City’s pool of exceptional writers to lead our summer creative writing programs. Our faculty is comprised of accomplished authors who are also experienced in nurturing students in the discipline and art of writing.

Whether their preferred form is poetry, plays, short stories, novels, or non-fiction, our young storytellers get to practice their writing in small, collaborative groups. Working in peaceful, open air writing studios, our writers build imaginative narratives and find their creative voices, while experimenting with the core elements of storytelling like style, structure, setting, point of view, conflict and resolution.  One vital element of our teaching involves encouraging our students to experience empathy, both as an ingredient and a result of their writing practice.  Finally, all writing students gain invaluable editorial experience by shaping and contributing their works to a new installment of Usdan’s literary magazine, Painting with Words.

2019 Majors

Creative Writing; Making Magic & Monsters; 

2019 Minors

Creative Writing; Performance Poetry & Podcasting;

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Dance

In our summer dance program, our dancers study technique, classic repertory, and original choreography with nationally renowned dancers and choreographers. We offer classes across a wide range of styles and traditions, including contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, funk and tap. 

Instruction at our dance camp is rigorous, caring and fun.  Our studios are spacious and mirrored, with soft floors and generous skylights that give an open-air effect. Each class culminates in a freshly choreographed dance performance for the entire community, including friends and family, in the dance department studios or on Usdan’s main stage.

2019 MAJORS

Advanced Ballet; Advanced Contemporary; Choreographic Institute; Dance Adventure; Dance Ensemble; Intermediate Ballet.

2019 MINORS

Beginner Ballet; Broadway Jazz; Dance Adventure; Hip Hop; Intermediate Ballet; Modern Contemporary; Tap; West African.

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Music

 

Usdan's celebrated music program features four orchestras, four bands, two choruses, chamber and jazz ensembles, rock bands, and instruction in strings, brass, reeds, woodwind, and percussion. Piano, guitar, and ukulele students work on technique and perspective through individual and ensemble practice and performance. With classes for absolute beginners to advanced students, budding musicians of every level can find a place for themselves in our music department. Musicians will have unique opportunities to work and collaborate with contemporary composers and artists-in-residence. 

Classes, rehearsals, and performances take place in studios sized for each group and specialty. Throughout the summer, our music students have opportunities to present their summer’s work to family, friends, and the entire Usdan community. Select performances will take place in the McKinley Amphitheater. 

2019 MAJORS

Advanced Jazz Ensemble; Concert Band (Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Saxophone, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Percussion); Guitar;  Intermediate Piano; Intermediate/Advanced Piano; Instrumental Ensemble: Traditional Classical Chamber; Instrumental Ensemble: Contemporary Classical Chamber; Instrumental Ensemble: Jazz Ensemble; Instrumental Ensemble: Living Composers Workshop; Instrumental Ensemble: Silent Film Orchestra; Instrumental Ensemble: Rock Band;  Jazz Ensemble (Trumpet, Saxophone, Trombone, Guitar, Bass, Drum Set, Piano); Junior Chamber Ensemble; Orchestra (Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass); Vocal Ensemble; 

2019 MINORS

Absolute Beginner Brass; Absolute Beginner Guitar; Absolute Beginner Lower Strings;  Absolute Beginner Piano; Absolute Beginner Ukulele; Absolute Beginner Upper Strings; Absolute Beginner Woodwind; Advanced Beginner Piano; Chamber Music (Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Trumpet, Saxophone, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Piano); Guitar & Songwriting;  Jazz Ensemble (Trumpet, Saxophone, Trombone, Guitar, Bass, Drum Set, Piano); Rock Band; Senior Vocal Ensemble.

 

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Nature

 

In our hands-on nature program, students study the art of planting, growing and cultivating food by caring for Usdan’s own fruit and vegetable gardens. Exploring the flora and fauna in Usdan’s idyllic woodland forest allows students to understand the delicate relationships at the heart of Long Island’s vibrant local ecosystem. In an innovative course on sustainable art, students are challenged to combine art, science and empathy to identify creative and sustainable solutions to pressing environmental problems. Students also care for the Nature Department's pet snakes, lizards, and tortoise.

 

2019 Majors

Nature, Ecology & Design; Organic Gardening; Sustainable Design.

2019 Minors

Nature, Ecology & Design; Organic Gardening; Organic Gardening & Sustainable Design; Sustainable Design.

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Discovery

Play and exploration are at the heart of Discovery, where children enjoy music, art, dance and swim multiple times a week.  Rather than select a major and minor, Discovery students experience a special multi-disciplinary program tailored for their age group.  Discovery students experience the arts through hands-on practice with Usdan's esteemed faculty. Each class is led by a minimum of four adults who provide individualized attention and support.

Throughout the summer, Discovery campers attend select Festival Performances performed by professional and student artists.  In addition to the core program, additional activities draw from Usdan's diverse offerings such as theater, nature, archery, chess and photography. With the Discovery Center as a base, campers explore the arts together in small groups with dedicated college-age counselors to guide them throughout their adventurous day.  

Children from all over the New York metropolitan area choose Usdan’s Discovery program because it is a singular summer arts camp for kids who share a common love for the arts.

Typical Day
9:30 a.m. : Children are helped off of their bus by one of the Discovery counselors
10:05 a.m. : Music
10:45 a.m. : Snack
11:05 a.m. : Art  
12:00 p.m. : Swim
1:00 p.m. : Lunch / Supervised Play 
2:05 p.m. : Discovery Period*
3:00 p.m. : Ice Cream and children are brought back to their buses

* The "Discovery Period" is an activity that is scheduled weekly such as theatre or a scheduled visit to one of the junior/senior classes such as chess, archery, or sewing. 

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Recreational Arts

 

The Recreational Arts program augments Usdan’s core mission to support campers’ creative development by encouraging physical fitness and an appreciation of the natural world. This comprehensive approach to our children’s creative, spiritual, and physical development makes Usdan unique among camps in our region.  Set in an idyllic woodland forest, our campus spaces are joined together by walking paths and are designed for optimal enjoyment of fresh air and natural light.  Across campus, students can enjoy nature walks, splash in two large outdoor swimming pools, play sports on multiple playing fields, as well as practice yoga and archery.

 

Each day, students spend a dedicated period enjoying a Recreational Activity of their choice. Each of these activities, with the exception of Recreational Swim, can also be chosen as a Minor.

2019 Recreational Arts classes

Archery; Beginner Tennis; Free Swim & Poolside Games; Gaga & Basketball; Instructional Swim & Poolside Games; Quidditch; Tennis; Yoga.

(Each of these classes can also be selected as a Minor, except for Free Swim.)

 

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All

Theater

 

The dynamic hub of the Usdan theater program is the extraordinary Lemberg Drama Center, which includes an air-conditioned indoor theater, two outdoor theaters, and rehearsal studios, as well as costume, prop, and set shops. With offerings in both drama and musical theater, our students have several opportunities to experience the full of cycle of staging and performing a play or musical throughout the summer.  Recent productions include Into the Woods, Frog and Toad, Finian’s Rainbow, and Oliver!

High-school aged students may audition for The Usdan Troupe which presents one fully staged musical production every year.  Former company members describe it as "summer stock theater for teens."

2019 MAJORS

D.I.Y. Theater; Drama Lab; Matinee Idols; Musical Theater; Musical Theater Adventure; Showstoppers; Theater Tech Workshop; The Usdan Troupe.

2019 MINORS

Improvisation; Performance Poetry & Podcasting (also listed under Creative Writing).

 

 

 

For detailed class descriptions, please visit our Classes page.

View All