By Noelle Durant
“I will greet this day with love in my heart!,” one of the five affirmations the 60 Grrrl Brigade Summer Dance Camp girls exclaim in unison with their voices and bodies. Led by Tina Banchero, a lead dancer in Dance Brigade, and two Grrrl Brigade youth interns, the students; some new, some continuing, move and stretch in our black box theater. They sprinkle the theatre’s dark floors with a rainbow of colors and diversity.
Each day the girls are split into three cohorts: Yemaya, Gaia, and Isis. They cycle through technique and choreography classes in the morning, then on to three world classes in the afternoon – a menu of hip hop, salsa, taiko, and tumbling. Every week the young ladies are given the opportunity to try the different genres of classes taught at Dance Mission Theater during the regular school year.
The end of each camp week culminates in a performance showcase for families and friends to come see what the girls have been working on every day. The week’s grand finale always has parents beaming with pride as they embrace their daughters, who are happier and healthier after just five days.
With the great summer camps in the city being notoriously high cost, Grrrl Brigade’s Summer Dance Camp can’t be beat at $275/week ($200/week for Creative Movement, the co-ed camp for three to five year olds).
All summer classes are taught by the dancers of Dance Brigade, an all-star roster of performers and instructors:
Tina Banchero, Grrrl Brigade Youth Company, Goddess Grrrls Program and Dance Mission Youth Program, Co-Founder; Grrrl Brigade Summer Program, Director
Ramon Ramos Alayo, Alayo Dance Company, Artistic Director; Cuba Caribe, Co-Founder
Fredrika Keefer, Dance Mission Youth Program, Director
Lena Gatchalian, Grrrl Brigade, Director
Leila Baradaran, Dance Brigade’s Taiko, Composer; Maikaze Daiko, Artistic Director
Bruce “Mui” Ghent, School of the Arts, World Music Instructor
Growing up in San Francisco should include a chance to participate in the arts, and our camp is open and accessible to families and girls from all walks of life.
This is true all year round. Most of the girls who participate in summer camp come back for more in the fall and/or spring semesters. Who can blame them? After all, “Grrrls – just wanna have fu-un.”
Registration for the Fall begins in August; the semester begins September 9th. For more information, visit Dance Mission’s Youth Programs.
Content managed and edited by Christine Joy Ferrer/Eyes Opened Media, Dance Mission Blog Editor.