By Michael Coughlin Jr.
As summer creeps closer and you wonder what might be around the neighborhood to provide your children with some fun, look no further than the upcoming summer camps that the Tony Williams Dance Center (TWDC) will offer.
Since 2006 TWDC has been offering summer camps to kids in and around Jamaica Plain who may find themselves interested in doing some dancing, and this year is no exception.
For five weeks – two weeks in July and three in August – the camps will allow all kids, regardless of skill level, to get their feet moving and do some dancing.
“It’s for kids that have not danced and kids that have danced,” said Tony Williams, Founder & Artistic Director of TWDC. He added, “You could be a beginner and still get a lot out of the camp, or you could be someone that has experience.”
Each week of camp runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and offers various activities for children ages six through 14, and kids are usually broken up into groups by age – Williams mentioned a six to 11-year-old group and 12 to 14-year-old group.
Each day – Monday through Thursday – the kids have blocks of time cut out for different dance lessons taught by professional staff ranging from tap, ballet, jazz, to even hip-hop. These lessons throughout most of the week will then be used to construct a performance for the participants’ families on Friday.
“Each group of kids will do three or four different dances that they will perform for their families and friends at the end of the week,” said Williams.
“It’s a nice bonding experience for the kids.”
Not only do the kids who participate in the camps get the opportunity to learn different dance styles and perform at the end of the week, but they also get to help make the costumes for the performance during arts and crafts time.
“It’s not anything fancy or expensive, but sometimes it’s just working with colored paper that you can cut out and make into, let’s say, a tiara or something like that,” said Williams.
Furthermore, Williams also indicated that each week of these camps is different in that depending on the instructors who are in, there could be even more dance styles to learn.
“We might have other dance styles like Mexican folk dance, traditional folk dance, or African dance,” said Williams – so kids are welcome to sign up for more than one week.
The specific camp dates are from July 10-14, July 17-21, August 7-11, August 21-25, and August 28-September 1. One week of the camp costs $450, and a discount of $40 for each additional week is offered, as well as a $40 discount for each sibling.
It should be noted that the TWDC website says, “No double discount combinations, i.e., a sibling for a second week may not get $40 + $40 off for each week.”
For Williams, who has been around dance since he was an adolescent, dancing for places like the Boston Ballet, the Norwegian National Ballet, and more, having these camps is something he seems to really enjoy.
“It’s just enriching for me to have these kids come in to meet other kids, and they become close friends, and they bond together,” said Williams.
“It’s sort of exciting not just for the kids themselves but even for me as the director or the owner of the school.”
Williams encourages those who are interested in the camps to come and sign up.
“It’s a good opportunity to see what dance is all about, and we find that most of the kids that come to the camp that are new to dance – they sign up in the fall to start to study more intensively and seriously,” said Williams.
To learn more about the TWDC summer camps, visit http://tonywilliamsdancecenter.com/summer/.