Dance/Performing Arts

Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute


Residential ONLY
Check-in: Saturday, June 22, 2019
Program End: Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 4:30 PM (PDT)

UCLA Course Credit: World Arts and Cultures (WAC) 174A



The UCLA World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department's Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute is an award-winning, unique, nine-day program for advanced high school students that integrates the disciplines of dance, choreography, spoken word, music, and identity exploration, and offers guidance to students in assessing the role the arts can and will play in the next stage of their lives. The program serves a diverse mix of young artists from Los Angeles, the greater state of California, and beyond. It is offered by The UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance in partnership with UCLA Summer Sessions and the The Flourish Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to increasing access to the arts in under-served areas of Los Angeles. In addition to partnering in the program, The Flourish Foundation offers a limited number of scholarships to students who demonstrate the following: a) significant financial need, b) residence in Los Angeles Supervisorial Districts 1, 2 or 3, and c) evidence of high quality dance training.

The program is geared towards dedicated, hard-working students interested in taking their artistic abilities to the next level through intensive training and creative collaboration, culminating in a final performance. The intensive is open to students who are high school sophomores and juniors at the time of the application.

Offered by a combination of UCLA's acclaimed dance faculty and high-level professionals from the greater Los Angeles dance community, the curriculum at the Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute includes daily movement classes ranging from forms such as postmodern dance and hip-hop, to world dance genres such as Hawaiian/Polynesian and West-African. Each technique class will also explore the history of the dance form, where students can develop an appreciation of their heritages. Further, students will study dance composition, a choreography class where students learn in-depth how to create and structure their own dance works.

Students will work independently and in groups to create their own material that will be presented as part of the culmination performance. The program also offers a unique, one-of-a-kind Arts and Life class, which will facilitate exploratory discussions about the role of the arts in both a greater societal context and a more local, personal one. Students will investigate their roles as young artists through special sessions devoted to the idea of using art as a tool for individual transformation and social change.

After each intense and rigorous day of dancing, training, sharing, and studying, the students return to their dorms and participate in fun and engaging evening activities. This provides them with the opportunity to explore the UCLA campus, Westwood Village, and get a taste of what it is like to live in a college dormitory.

Students will work hard and be challenged to extend their physical and mental limits in a structured, positive environment that illustrates the benefits of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Students will also benefit from the experience of working with top professionals, creating collectively with these artists, and honing their abilities to represent themselves as professionals in the ever-changing world. They will get the opportunity to apply these skills immediately in a full length, one-hour, professional performance in the prestigious Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater at the end of the week. Open to parents and friends at no charge, this culminating production provides a chance for the students to share what they have learned during the nine-day program. Due to the rigorous and intense nature of the program, the residential plan, (which includes supervision, a meal plan, and a schedule of activities) is mandatory for all students.

Students who are unable to live in the residence halls or participate fully in program activities should not apply, and may be subject to dismissal from the program without a refund.

Program Eligibility

To apply for the Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Enrolled in grades 9th – 12th during Spring 2019
  • 15 years of age or older as of June 22, 2019

NOTE: Due to the overwhelming demand and limited spaces available in this program, preference will be given to rising seniors (current juniors), as these students are the best fit for the program. Students who do not meet the minimum program requirements should not apply and should consider other summer opportunities.

Application Requirements

The Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute is by instructor consent only. To participate, you must apply and receive acceptance into the program.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete the following:

  • Letter of Recommendation (Note: Please have the recommender's phone number and email address available when registering)
  • Short essay responses that include the following prompts:
    • Describe your experience in dance. Please include the types of training, how long you’ve studied, and where. What are some of your favorite dance styles or forms and why?
    • Do you have any other experience in the performing arts (e.g., theater, spoken word, music). If yes, please explain.
    • Describe your current extracurricular activities, community involvement, or service to the community.
    • Describe a project or creative experience you have been involved in, within the past year, which has been particularly rewarding to you, discussing what you learned (or continue to learn) from it.
    • Describe any awards, honors, or distinctions you have received.
  • A recent photograph of yourself. Does not need to be a professional headshot or portrait, but a photo that clearly shows your face.

If deemed a good fit for the program based on the application and letter of recommendation, applicants will then be asked for follow up materials via email.This follow up email will be sent to the email address that is provided on the application.

Please note: In order to better know our applicants, this program uses a follow up process that will include a short email response as well as sending video footage of recent dance solos or performances. Additional instructions will be sent in the follow-up email. Our application process is not completed until the applicant responds in full to the follow up email(s). A decision will be made by April 15th. If the application is submitted on or within one week before April 1st, applicants will have until April 7th to submit follow up materials.

When determining admission, the committee evaluates students based on their writing and responses to the application questions, level of experience and training as displayed in video submissions, and overall effort put into the application process. Thus, timely responses to all email correspondence with Program Admissions Coordinator, Jackie Oka is encouraged. Once applicants have submitted all follow up information, they will receive confirmation that their application is complete. Please note: UCLA Summer Sessions plays no role in the decision-making process. The decision is made by the directors and department committee.

If you have any questions, please email the Directors, Leanne Iacovetta Poirier ( and Harry Weston(

How to Apply

Application for the Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute can be done conveniently online using the steps below.

  1. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration”.
  2. Complete the first page of the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, then, select “Continue” at the end of the first page.
  3. Provide responses to all questions on the second page of the online registration form, including your short essay responses (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  4. Submit your registration form.
  5. Once your form is submitted, you will be directed to the Retrieve Registration page. Select “File Uploads” to upload your photo (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  6. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance, decline, or waitlist decision by April 15th. An email will be sent to you with the official decision.
  7. If accepted to the program, follow the steps in your acceptance email to make payment of the non-refundable deposit ($150 for domestic students, $400 for international students) and reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable deposit* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however you risk losing a space in the program if the program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay.

This deposit is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins. If you withdraw, this deposit will appear as processing fee charge on your BruinBill account.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the wait list, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable deposit but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

How to Make Registration Changes

Already submitted the online registration form but need to make a change or finish your registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. To retrieve registration, please complete the steps below:

  1. Access the Summer Institute Retrieve Registration Form here.
  2. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address. Fill out the form, then “Submit”.

Program Dates

JUNE 22 - JUNE 30, 2019

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15: Registration Opens

APRIL 1: Application Deadline

MAY 1: Payment due in full

JUNE 15: Refund Deadline

JUNE 22-30: Dance/Performing Arts Summer Institute