Stephens Summer Dance (SSD) is an exciting opportunity for aspiring young dancers to study with international guest faculty in the Stephens College studios. Students receive professional, individually focused training that prepares them for success in today’s diverse dance world. Students perform in a Summer Dance Concert on campus at the conclusion of the dance intensive.
SSD prepares aspiring young dancers to meet the challenges of today’s diverse dance world. Students will study with international guest faculty, taking daily technique classes in classic and contemporary styles of dance in an intensive conservatory environment. The training students receive will stretch their talents and broaden their understanding of what it means to be a dancer. An emphasize is placed on technical growth and artistic performance. Entrance is by audition only. Guest and resident faculty will share their professional expertise through technique classes, individualized attention and rehearsals—providing students with an opportunity to experience the real world of dance in an educational setting. The culmination of the experience is the Summer Dance Concert in June, with a performance in the College’s Macklanburg Playhouse.
Entrance into SSD is by audition only, either in person or electronically. Students may audition by attending a class with our majors; or electronically by submitting a link to your audition video (consisting of ballet barre-work, modern or jazz center-work and/or a short video of a performance. No more than seven minutes total). If the performance video is a group piece, clearly indicate where you appear on the tape.
Classes and rehearsals are held on the Stephens College campus. Performances are held in the College’s 314-seat Macklanburg Playhouse. While on campus, Stephens Summer Dance students will live in an air-conditioned residence hall with laundry facilities and recreation lounges with cable.
Stephens Summer Dance students eat in the Stamper Commons dining hall, which is located in the center of campus. Included in the program are three meals per day (Monday–Friday) and two meals per day on the weekend.
SSD Artistic Director
Elizabeth Hartwell, Instructor of Dance
Before teaching at Stephens, Elizabeth Hartwell was the Louisville Ballet School Director from 2004 to 2008, following a long tenure as principal dancer with the Louisville Ballet. Concurrently, she was artistic director of the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, an honor company with the Southeastern Ballet Association. From 1996 to 2004, she served on the faculty of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and the Louisville Ballet School. Early on, Hartwell was a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet and Chicago Ballet companies, and later performed in the summer months as the ballet soloist with the Cincinnati Opera, from 1987-1995. She received the 2004 Kentucky Governor’s Award for Artist of the Year, for Lifetime Achievement. She has performed the title role in many full-length classics, including “Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” “Cinderella” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” She also received high acclaim for her portrayals as Kitri in “Don Quioxté,” Swanhilda in “Coppélia,” and leading roles in important works such as Anthony Tudor’s “Echoing of Trumpets,” Mikhail Fokine’s “The Firebird” and “Petrushka,” and George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.” This year, Hartwell continues her advanced somatic studies in the Franklin Method. She holds two certifications as a Franklin Method Movement Educator, earned directly from the founder, Eric Franklin. She previously attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts High School.
2015 Faculty: Read about this summer's faculty here.