Classic Program
Students cheering at Festival
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Classic Program

Usdan’s Classic Program provides an immersive arts experience and fosters friendship and shared enthusiasm among young artists in grades 2 through 12.


Our Classic Program offers instruction by experienced educators and professional artists in five art disciplines—Art, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, and Theater—and three specialty areas—Chess, Nature & Sustainability, and Recreational Arts. All that is needed to attend is an open mind and an excitement for the arts. 

Students in our Classic Program choose a two-period Major, a one-period Minor, and a one-period Recreational Activity for four or eight weeks. Each period consists of approximately one hour of instructional time, during which students immerse themselves in an area they are passionate about. Some of our campers love being able to explore two different departments for their Major and Minor, while others choose to focus on one. Most Majors and Minors culminate in a performance or celebration of student work. The Recreational Activity supports campers’ creative development by encouraging movement and play. 

Daily Festival Performances by professional and student artists in Usdan’s 900-seat McKinley Amphitheater enrich students’ days, bringing art to life in thrilling new ways to delight, surprise, and inspire. Repertoire for the daily Festival Performance includes traditional and contemporary art from a culturally diverse group of performers, including dancers from the Alvin Ailey and Michelle Dorrance companies, musicians from the New York Philharmonic and International Contemporary Ensemble, mimes, puppeteers, and spoken word and Broadway performers.

Students attending our 8-week session have the opportunity to change their courses after the first four weeks. While most Majors are divided into four-week increments, select performing-arts Majors, including the Usdan Troupe and the Ensemble, are eight weeks long. Please visit our Classes page for more information on your child’s departments or courses of interest. 

Students attend courses with similarly aged peers; the age divisions are called Junior Division, Junior Division: Partners in the Arts, and Senior Division. Junior Division: Partners in the Arts students have just completed grade 2 or 3 (see more below), Junior Division students have just completed grade 4, 5, or 6, and Senior Division students have just completed grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Students who have just completed grade 6 may choose to be in either the Junior or Senior Division, apart from grade 6 Music Majors, who must choose the Junior Division.


  • 10:00 a.m.–11:55 a.m.: Major
  • 12:05 p.m.–12:25 p.m.: Lunch
  • 12:35 p.m.–12:55 p.m.: Festival Performance
  • 1:15 p.m.–2:05 p.m.: Recreational Activity 
  • 2:15 p.m.–3:05 p.m.: Minor
  • 3:05 p.m.: Ice Cream and Dismissal


Partners in the Arts is a special age division for Usdan students in grades 2 and 3 that supports their growing independence. Partners students are in the Junior Division of Usdan’s Classic Program, just like older campers, but are escorted from class to class by supervisors. Supervisors are high-school-age students who are familiar with Usdan’s campus and programs. They are chosen for their maturity and rapport with young campers. The Partners in the Arts Division helps our younger students feel comfortable and confident as they learn, make friends, and have fun.



For over fifty years, Usdan has offered an enriching summer camp experience to children all over the region, from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn in New York City, to Port Washington and Huntington, and all over Nassau and Suffolk counties. Usdan offers busing to and from camp from convenient central pickup locations. For more information on busing, please visit our Bus Transportation page