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Dance Summer Intensive for High School Students & Young Artists

July 25 July 27

Summer Dance Intensive for High School Students & Young Artists
Date & TimeAgesLocationContact
July 25–27, 2024 (9 a.m.–5 p.m.)14+Mitchell Halldance-admission@uwm.edu

Our three-day summer intensive for young dance artists seeks to deepen dance practice, broaden techniques and build bridges that lead to pursuing dance professionally and in higher education. Dancers cultivate creativity and technique in a variety of forms taught by nationally renowned dance educators from UW-Milwaukee and beyond.

Get Ready! Through diverse techniques, creative practices and high-caliber training, young artists are exposed to technique and artistry that prepares them for college auditions, dance performances, and the profession.

Get Motivated! Students gain experience in dance forms and methods that prepare them for careers in dance. Workshop highlights include a Q&A with choreographers and attendance at Upstart, a performance by our nationally acclaimed MFA students.

Get Creative! Techniques and practices explored include Jazz Dance, Contemporary Dance, Afro-Latin Dance, Hip Hop, Breaking & Locking, Improvisation, and Composition.

Be Inspired! Young artists build mentorships with dance professors, leaders in the community, and Peck School of the Arts nationally acclaimed MFA students as they ignite their passion for dance and launch their college careers.


TimeThursday, July 25Friday, July 26Saturday, July 27
8:15–8:45 a.m.Check In
9:00–10:15 a.m.Jazz (Gina Laurenzi)Yoga (Gina Laurenzi)Jazz (Christal Wagner)
10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.Contemporary (Dawn Springer)Hip Hop (Rich Ashworth)Contemporary (Dawn Springer)
12:00–1:00 p.m.Lunch + Dance TourLunch + Panel (UWM Grads)Lunch + Panel (Dance Faculty)
1:00–2:30 p.m.Afro-Latin Dance (Karlies Kelley)Afro-Latin Dance (Karlies Kelley)Hip Hop (Rich Ashworth)
2:45–4:30 p.m.TBDComposition + Improv (Mauriah Kraker)Composition + Improv (Mauriah Kraker)
4:30–5:15 p.m.Meet the Upstart Choreographers and Pizza Party
5:30–6:00 p.m.Personal time
6:00–7:15 p.m.Movement Portrait Sessions (Christal Wagner Photography)
7:30–9:30 p.m.UpStart Concert


Mauriah Donegan Kraker (Improv)
Mauriah Donegan Kraker

Mauriah Donegan Kraker is a midwesterner, a collaborative performance maker, a long-distance walker primarily invested in slow travel: walking around the block and through the city as a means of attending to choreographic unfolding of time cycles in the body + land. Her background in athletics (competing as an Olympic-level athlete/named Athlete of the Year by USA Gymnastics, touring around the world with Pilobolus Dance Company) is a driver in the creation of endurance-based performance works that live somewhere in the realm of task, dancing, dreaming. Mauriah is a MacDowell Fellow for her duet work alongside her collaborator, Leah Wilks. Together they function as the duo L+M – inhabiting the roles of co-choreographers, co-performers and co-sound creators. Mauriah has toured and taught at universities and cultural centers throughout the US and Europe, teaching workshops that draw on sounding, improvisatory movement and outdoor practices. She teaches in the Theatre Arts department at Lawrence University, her focus being collaboration and performative practice for both artist + athlete.

Richard Ashworth (Hip Hop)
Richard Ashworth

Richard Ashworth is an educator, choreographer, and performer whose interest in technical foundation and corresponding social cultures have made him a resource in social and percussive African Diaspora dance communities. Richard attended the University at Buffalo, receiving a BFA in Dance in June 2007. After graduating, Rich performed aboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas and upon returning to the States, danced in several crews for live performances and industrials including for artists such as Flo Rida and The Goo Goo Dolls. Rich has performed, choreographed, and toured with several internationally celebrated dance companies including Lehrerdance (dir. Jon Lehrer), Chicago Dance Crash (dir. Jessica Deahr), Be The Groove (dir. Stephanie Paul) serving as educational director, and Chicago Tap Theatre (dir. Mark Yonally), where he served as a choreographer and rehearsal director. As an educator Rich has been on the faculty of several dance based organizations including Dance Masters of America, Flow 40 Dance, Beyond the Stars dance convention, and Interdanza of Mexico. He has taught classes and courses at the University at Buffalo, Hope College, and Salve Regina University. Rich most recently attended the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, achieving a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance in May 2021.

Dawn Springer (Contemporary)
Dawn Springer

Dawn Springer was fortunate to perform internationally with many wonderful choreographers throughout her training and performance career. Her own choreography has garnered critical acclaim, and her writing is published in libraries and universities throughout the country. She is a senior lecturer in Dance in the Peck School of the Arts at UWM. BFA, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, MFA Hollins University. As a dancer, she was fortunate to work with a number of choreographers including Helen Simoneau Danse, Camille A. Brown, Sara Hook, and Sarah Skaggs, among others. Her professional performance career has taken her to many theaters and international festivals including Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Venice Biennale Danza, The American Dance Festival, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Live Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The United States Botanic Garden, The Banff Center, Mt Tremper Arts Festival, Washington D.C.’s Dance Place, New York City’s Danspace Project, Dixon Place, the New York Historical Society, The Chocolate Factory, The 92nd St Y, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.

Christal Wagner (Conditioning)
Christal Wagner

Christal Wagner is an Alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dance department (BFA) where she is also adjunct faculty. She is a screendance artist and has produced work as a cinematographer, performer, editor and director for Joe Goode, Josh Halverson, Maria Gillespie, Danceworks Inc, Milwaukee Dance Theatre Network, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, UWM Dance, The Saint Kate Arts Hotel, The Cactus Club, and Li Chiao-Ping Dance where she was a 2020 SEED Creation Fund grant recipient. Christal is the artistic director of Danceworks Performance MKE and has danced for Your Mother Dances, Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, Dawn Springer Dance Projects, Skylight Music Theatre and spent 14 years as a company member with DPMKE. Christal is a cofounder of the music and dance trio Cadance Collective, co-creating pieces through processes where music and dance are worked on simultaneously through improvisational practices and original soundscapes. In 2020 Christal Wagner became the Saint Kate Art Hotel’s FIRST artist in co-residence. She is the recipient of 8 Wisconsin Jerry Awards for her work in musical theatre and has choreographed over 20 musicals in the city of Milwaukee.

Gina Laurenzi (Yoga Flow)
Gina Laurenizi

Gina Laurenzi graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in dance. Before beginning her chapter in Milwaukee, Gina was awarded a full merit scholarship to train at Giordano Dance Chicago and later performed with Giordano Il and Inside Chicago Dance, among other Chicago artists. For seven years, Laurenzi owned and operated Laurenzi Dance (Kenosha, WI). In her hometown of Kenosha, Laurenzi presented work regularly and mentored many local artists through the performance groups she founded including; Project Innovate: A Performing Dance Company, Captivate Dance Company and Momentum Dance Project. Laurenzi has set work on dancers of the UW-Milwaukee Dance Dept., Water Street Dance Milwaukee, Danceworks Youth Performance Company, Danceworks Performance MKE, Danceworks Intergenerational Performance Company, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Makaroff Youth Ballet (Appleton, WI), as well as Milwaukee Ballet’s summer intensive and pre-professional program students. Laurenzi works as a teaching artist for both Milwaukee Ballet and Danceworks and is an associate lecturer/teaching assistant at UW-Milwaukee where she is currently pursuing her MA in dance.

Tuition & Registration

Tuition includes a movement portrait session ticket to the MFA dance concert UpStart. This is a day camp with no overnight accommodations.

Tuition: $450 Early Bird rate ($500 after June 1)
Registration Deadline: June 30, 2024