July 26-August 6, 2021
The School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s two week summer intensive program is designed to give serious students ages 11 & up an opportunity to train under MCB’s Artistic Director, Karen Mareck Grundy, as well as guest teachers from across the country. Students enjoy a rigorous schedule, dancing 6-7 hours a day, with a focus on ballet and modern techniques, supplemented by Pilates, jazz, and contemporary repertoire. During this extended time of intensive training, students can significantly improve their techniques. They are able to solely focus on dance and retain more without the distraction of homework and other school obligations. Their new knowledge makes them better prepared for their next level of dance study, and the intensive provides them with a window into what life is like as a member of a dance company. The experience culminates in an end-of-program performance.
Audition Requirements & Dates
Zoom Audition Requirements:
Please email the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you’d like to participate in the live audition via Zoom.
- First arabesque photo
Recorded Video Audition Requirements:
If you are unable to attend the Zoom audition, you may email the following materials to email@example.com.
- a YouTube or Vimeo video link
- First arabesque photo
Videos should be no longer than 5 minutes and must include ballet center work consisting of pirouettes, adagio, petite & grand allegro, and pointe work, if applicable. A contemporary solo (no longer than 1 minute) is also preferred. Results will be sent within three weeks of video submission.
2 weeks: $630.00
Weekly Rate: $350.00
$100 non-refundable deposit (credited toward tuition) due by June 1st. Balance due by July 1st, 2019. Receive a 10% discount by paying 2 weeks in full by May 1st. Scholarships are available.
Limited host family housing is available for $250/week. This fee covers housing, all meals, and transportation. Host families will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. Once matched, host family information will be given to the incoming dancer’s family.
Extended Stay Hotels
There are several affordable options for extended stay hotels within 10 miles of the studio. Prices to be determined.
“Last summer, I attended the School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s summer intensive. It was a fantastic chance to take class and learn repertoire at a high level and see improvement in just two weeks, and it was a safe environment to grow as an artist and benefit from the diverse faculty. In addition to personalized feedback and corrections, we also had a brief lecture on how best to take care of the body while dancing at a professional or college level. Skills such as managing nutrition and preventing or recovering from injury are often forgotten but are essential tools for every dancer. The rigorous schedule prepared me well for the university schedule I am now in the midst of and equipped me to continue making the most out of every class I’ve taken since.”
–Stephanie Bonham, 2014
“I am currently enrolled at Grand Valley State University, located in Allendale, Michigan. This past summer I attended the MCB’s summer intensive. It was one of the most incredible experiences I have had thus far in my dancing education. I stayed with an amazing host family and their four adorable dogs. They were very welcoming and made the transition and stay comfortable. My host family made me feel very at home and even helped me experience Missouri. While attending MCB’s intensive, I was fortunate enough to not only take classes from MCB’s company dancers and director Karen Grundy, but also from two guest artists, Megan Pulfer and Peter Pawlyshyn. All of the instructors gave me feedback that helped me grow as a dancer. Megan instructed with impeccable technique and artistic choreography, while Peter was inspiration in work ethic and had a true gift for helping me understand and apply corrections to my ballet technique. Overall I was truly impressed by the personal attention and care that was given to all the students in the program, from the first contact through to the final presentation. My MCB experience was phenomenal and I feel that it shaped me into a more confident and strong dancer.”
–Sarah Byington, 2015
“I have taken the MCB summer intensive for the past 2 years! I am so impressed with the faculty and program. It took me to the next level in my ballet and the guest teachers were incredible!!”
-Savanah Wozny, 2015 & 2016
“I have been going to Missouri Contemporary Ballet summer intensive since 2015 and it’s amazing. I enjoy it because I get a lot of one-on-one attention and it helps me improve. I recommend it to dancers everywhere! They do many different styles of dance with an emphasis on ballet and contemporary. They bring in spectacular guest teachers and I love their resident staff. The focus is on technique as well as artistry.”
-Sophia Schepers, 2015 & 2016
“I am currently enrolled as a Dance Pedagogy major at Butler University in Indiana. This past summer, I chose to attend the Missouri Contemporary Ballet Summer Intensive. Having never been to Missouri before, I was graciously welcomed by my host family and their two adorable dogs. My host family made the transition and stay comfortable and showed me all that Columbia had to offer! While training at the MCB Summer Intensive, I was able to work not only with company dancers and artistic director Karen Grundy, but two guest artists as well. Kristopher Estes-Brown and Meg Paul were able to spend a substantial amount of time each day with us, which resulted in each creating and rehearsing a piece on us for the final performances. The personalized corrections and relationships which the MCB Summer Intensive fosters are truly exceptional and I am so grateful that I was able to experience them. As I embark on my senior year of college and completing my undergraduate career, I believe that the MCB Summer Intensive was the perfect choice to attend, as it immersed me into the professional dance world and gave me a glimpse of professional life for two weeks in the heart of Columbia under an impeccable faculty and other dancers!
-Ashley Tomaszewski, 2017
2020 Guest Instructor: Maeghan McHale
Maeghan McHale, named one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch in 2010, was born in Baltimore, MD. She studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts where she performed works by David Parsons, David Grenke, and John Clifford. She received a scholarship to Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she performed with the Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble. While living in NYC, Maeghan studied at Steps on Broadway and performed with Extended Dance Company, as well as Off-Broadway under the direction of Tony Award Winner Hinton Battle. Additionally, she has participated in the Chicago Dancing Festival, Bald Ballerina No One Can Survive Alone Benefit Concert, Jazz Dance World Congress, The Miss America Parade, and Dancers Responding to Aids Benefit. In 2005, Maeghan received a scholarship to the Giordano Dance School, and in 2006 became a performing apprentice. 2007 marked her first season with Giordano Dance Chicago, and she enjoyed 13 seasons performing in places across the world, such as Hawaii, Latvia, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Netherlands, Turkey, Guatemala, Italy and Israel. Along with establishing herself as a dancer, she has also had the opportunity to set her own work on the GII Company. Maeghan has had her work performed on the Joyce Theater Stage, through Dancin Downtown at The Joyce, as part of the DRA Benefit. In 2011 her piece “Angelica” won the Performance Award and performed in NYC for Central Park Summer Stage. Her piece “If” also part of the DRA Benefit in 2013 won the Performance Award and they performed for Central Park Summer Stage as well. Her choreography has been recognized with awards such as Outstanding Choreography/Choreographer, Regional Ensemble Winner, and Outstanding Choreography Award at Youth America Grand Prix, placing twice in the top 12 Ensemble Category at YAGP Finals in NYC. Also, her ensemble work had the honor of being part of YAGP “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” tour. In the Summer of 2014, she was on the School Faculty at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS and was invited to be on Faculty at CNADM in the Fall of 2015. Currently, she is on the faculty at Northshore School of Dance and also choreographs for her sister’s school, Mid Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts.
(Photo by Gorman Cook)
Previous Guest Instructors Have Included:
In her performance career, Autumn Eckman (MFA Choreography, University of Iowa), had the privilege to dance for companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance, Giordano Dance Chicago, State Street Ballet and Luna Negra Dance Theater. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Arizona and a member of The Cambrians. A former Resident Choreographer of Giordano Dance Chicago and Artist-In-Residence for the State Street Ballet, her work has been commissioned by companies including DanceWorks Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, The Big Muddy Dance Company and Missouri Contemporary Ballet; for Universities including The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, Stephens College, University of Kansas, Washington & Lee University, Western Michigan University; and for the Bates Dance Festival, Edinburgh Dance Festival, Chicago Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, Performatica (Puebla, Mexico), Charlotte Dance Festival and the Black Box Theater Festival (Plovdiv, Bulgaria).
Peter LeBreton Merz has served as Director of the Ballet West Academy since 2015. From 2004-2015, he served on the faculty of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. While there, he rose to the rank of Associate Professor, tenured, and led the ballet unit of the faculty for seven years. He taught courses in ballet technique, pointe, male enchainment, classical pas de deux, dance composition, theater stagecraft, and an academic class in “Arts and the Human Experience”.
Merz has served as a coach, choreographer and jury member for several ballet competitions, including the USA International Ballet Competition, the Korea International Ballet Competition, the American Dance Competition, and the Youth America Grand Prix. He was named Outstanding Teacher by the YAGP jury at the Pittsburgh regional in 2014, and has twice been named Outstanding Choreographer.