Pre-Professional Dance Intensive

Coming December 2021:
Details for the IN-PERSON 2022 PDI

july 3-16, 2022
AGES 13-17

Intensive Overview

The Pre-Professional Dance Intensive provides rigorous training for intermediate and advanced dancers. This program is an incomparable experience of strong technical training in a curriculum that includes community-building, encourages individual growth, and cultivates dancers’ artistic voice. 

  • Technique, repertory, and composition classes will use the advantages of technology to create and connect with one another as developing artists. 
  • Repertory and creative classes will result in an online performance showcase. 
  • Join us for either one or two weeks of intensive classes. Each week will feature new ways of dancing, creating, and working together.  

Come dance with us to build your strength, discover new ways of moving, and dig deep into your creativity while learning with a community of passionate dancers!

Who can participate in this intensive?

The Pre-Professional Dance Intensive (PDI) is an audition-based program for dancers aged 13-17. We recommend that dancers auditioning have a minimum of three consecutive years of prior dance training.

As our capacity for this intensive is limited, we’d like everyone who attends to be present at each class to create a community and reap the benefits of the full experience.  

in-person option

Updated June 18, 2021 | The in-person intensive option is currently full. We still have the option to participate online! If you would like to also be on a waitlist for the in-person option in case a spot opens up, please let us know via email at!

The Pre-Professional Dance Intensive will be holding an in-person option at our ADF Studios in Durham, NC for up to 11 spots. First preference is given to those who have already applied and paid their deposit to attend summer 2021. This option is only available to participants that live within commuting distance of Durham and are able to attend both weeks of the intensive. ADF protocols for in-person participants will be continuously updated to reflect the most up-to-date CDC and local guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consult ADF’s Live COVID protocol document on our website for our most up-to-date policies. Deadline to enroll in and pay the deposit for the in-person option is June 18, 2021.

The program remains available for full and interactive participation online via Zoom. All PDI faculty are experienced teaching in-person, hybrid, and online classes, so it’s guaranteed to be a great experience, no matter how you participate!

The in-person option will increase tuition fees from $900 to $1,260 for two weeks. Additional required forms, health insurance, and safety protocols will be required for in-person students.

Enrollment overview

how to apply

Complete the following within the online application: 

  • Submit $50 non-refundable application fee (not credited toward tuition).
  • Select if you would like to enroll in one or two weeks of the intensive.
  • Submit*:
    • Demonstration of dance skill level via live/online or video audition
    • Personal Statement via video audition

*See details below for audition requirements.

Apply Now

If you have any questions in completing any phase of the application process, contact the ADF School through the messaging tool in your online application or via email at For technical questions please check out Acceptd’s Help Desk for frequently asked questions.

audition requirements

All students are required to complete an audition for acceptance into the program. Applicants must upload a dance audition or select that they attended a live/online audition within their application. All applicants must submit a personal statement via video submission regardless of attending a live/online audition or submitting a video for the dance portion. Applicants should be the only person in their videos, please do not upload videos in a class or performance with other dancers.

Summer 2020 applicants: Applicants that completed an application and were accepted for in-person programs in Summer 2020 are not required to upload additional materials for acceptance. 

dance Audition video Requirements

For students submitting a video dance audition:

  • Technique: The technique video should be no more than 4 minutes total.
    • It should include:
      • Up to 2 minutes of modern or contemporary technique, and
      • Up to 2 minutes of any other dance technique or style that you do regularly.
      • NOTE: When demonstrating each of your selected dance techniques, remember that each dance technique has different values and skills. Please be sure to demonstrate the physical and artistic values of the specific technique or style you choose. Your dancing should reflect the technique depth, complexity, and range. We encourage you to perform class exercises/movements that feature your ability to move with musicality or rhythmic sensitivity, that show the physical coordination necessary for the technique, and that involve moving in place and through space.  
  • Creative work: The creative work video should be no more than one minute.
    • It should include:
      • Improvisation or performance of something you choreographed. This section MUST be self-choreographed or improvised. Performance of another artist’s work is not permitted. Please indicate whether you are improvising or performing your choreography.  


All students must submit a personal statement via video submission regardless of attending a live/online audition or submitting a video for the dance portion. 

  • Please address ONE of the following questions in your video: The first priority for us is the we hear your voice and your ideas.
    • Option 1: Our summer intensives seek to maximize what’s valuable about dancing remotely or online, as well as appreciate its challenges. What’s one thing that you’ve found valuable and one thing that’s been challenging about dancing online?
    • Option 2: What are you passionate about as a dance artist? 


Summer 2021 Tuition

Application Fee   $50   Nonrefundable
Online Tuition Fees: 1-week  $500   $150 deposit is nonrefundable and applied towards tuition
Online Tuition Fees: 2-weeks  $900  $150 deposit is nonrefundable and applied towards tuition
In-Person Tuition Fees: 2-weeks  $1,260   $150 deposit is nonrefundable and applied towards tuition

*The $150 nonrefundable deposit is collected only once, regardless of enrollment selection.


Tuition scholarships

We are offering a limited number of partial tuition scholarships to students to attend the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive. All scholarships are awarded based on a combination of your audition in conjunction with financial need. Due to the complexities and stresses people are facing during this time, we are not asking scholarship applicants to submit proof of financial need (tax forms). However, we ask you to apply only if you need financial assistance in order to attend.

Summer 2020 applicants: Students that were accepted into the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive for in-person programs for summer 2020, and were awarded a scholarship at the March deadline, will be given first priority.

Pre-Professional Dance Intensive scholarships are provided by the 315 Fund, Dancing Angels Foundation, and Suzanne Begnoche & Pavan Reddy.



ADF will match up to $150 towards tuition fees from sponsoring organizations and businesses. These scholarships are open to any participant. Sponsorships may come from:

  • Dance Studio
  • College or University
  • High School
  • Arts Organization
  • Business or Corporation


  • Matching scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a limited number are available. 
  • Matching scholarships cannot be combined with any other ADF scholarships. 
  • Matching scholarships may only be used to towards ADF tuition fees. 
  • Matching scholarship awards are contingent upon sponsorship agreement. Matching scholarships from ADF will not be allocated until the school office receives sponsorship agreement and funds. Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to their possible sponsors EARLY, before indicating interest in the matching scholarship to ADF. 


April 1  Scholarship application deadline
April 15  Scholarship Awards announced

how To apply for scholarships

Please submit the following through your online application to be considered for Scholarship:

  • Complete your online application for the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive, pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee, and wait for your application to be accepted. 
  • Once accepted, indicate your interest in applying for a Tuition or Matching Scholarship in your online application. 
  • For Tuition Scholarships:
    • Upload a brief written statement of financial need.
  • For Matching Scholarships:
    • The sponsoring organization will need to complete a Matching Scholarship Application Form.
      • Provide your sponsoring organization’s email in your online application and they will automatically receive the form. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is submitted by your sponsoring organization.
      • If your sponsoring organization does not have an email, contact the ADF School and we will provide a hard copy of the form for you to send to the organization. 

Dates & deadlines

April 1  Scholarship application deadline
April 15  Scholarship Awards announced
June 18  Deadline to submit application/enroll
July 1  Payment due in full
July 1  Last day to withdraw and receive a refund, less the $150 deposit and $50 application fee.


Minimum Enrollment

ADF requires a minimum level of enrolled students for each week of the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive and reserves the right to cancel the program if that minimum is not met. All tuition payments will be refunded in the event of cancellation. The $50 application fee is nonrefundable. 


  • Summer 2021:
    • The $50 application fee and $150 tuition deposit are nonrefundable.
    • July 1, 2021: All paid tuition (less the $150 deposit).
    • July 1–July 18, 2021: Tuition (less the $150 deposit) will be refunded for medical reasons only. A signed note from a doctor is required.
    • After July 18, 2021: Tuition will not be refunded for any reason.
  • ADF refunds, if applicable, will be processed within 2 weeks of withdrawing.

Schedule & class descriptions

class schedule


Week 1 | July 19 – July 24

Week 2 | July 26 – July 31

If enrolling in the in-person option, both weeks are required.

Monday – Friday: Daily classes from 10:00am-5:00pm ET, optional evening workshop

Saturday: Rehearsal and Performance Showcase



Schedules are subject to change. 

class descriptions

technique | Mz. G’s Afro-Modern
led by michelle gibson

Afro-Modern technique class creates a platform for students to understand dance across cultures that can bring them face to face with the hidden ideologies within other dance techniques, allowing students to ask why and for what purpose do we dance. Mz. G’s Afro-Modern class will focus on a fusion of contemporary modern practices rooted in diasporic elements, acknowledging that diasporic aesthetics and movement fundamentals contributed to American modern dance styles and techniques. The class will consist of challenging warm-ups, concentration of breathing techniques, center floor exercises, movement phrases, and connection of mind/body/spirit as a movement practice. This Afro-Modern class will utilize philosophies of modern dance pioneer Katherine Dunham. Philosophies of this technique will support students’ understanding of movement as function and form, both aesthetic and lifestyle, and explore cultural dance symbolism within modern forms. Isolation/undulations, core strengthening, dynamics, musicality, and mindful meditative practices will be addressed. Let’s commune! Let’s dance!

technique | Modern & Ballet
Led by Matt Pardo

Modern technique

This modern class utilizes specific ideas and exercises from a broad range of modern dance forms. The assortment of ideas present in the class are assembled in a way that benefits the contemporary study of modern dance. This class design and structure aims at giving students access to the past so they can use it as they move forward. The class focuses largely on musicality, alignment, and artistic individualism, allowing students to take what they learn in this class into all areas of their training.

Ballet technique

This ballet class focuses on the contemporary application of the classical aesthetic on the modern-dance body. The class places a specific focus on the functional use of plié and teaches students how to move transitionally through a position-based genre. Additionally, students in the class will be encouraged and guided to develop a practice of performance inside of the ballet-idiom which they will be able to translate to other areas of their dance training.

repertory & Creative Collaboration
led by momar ndiaye

repertory | Ubuntu

This one-week repertory class is designed to guide students through a creative process of remaking a contemporary work heavily influenced by patrimonial dances from Africa. With the idea of performing a finished short piece at the end of the class, students will learn a new movement vocabulary and will be guided through the process of generating movements with their own signature. Together we will recontextualize the work and you as a student and performer will bring you artistic contribution to the work. As a result, you will have some strategies to effectively structure space, rhythm, and time in a creative process. In this class, students are expected to be open minded and ready to learn dance forms that may be foreign to them. Students are also expected to actively participate in all activities and collaborate with their comrades.

Creative collaboration | Solo dance for my smartphone camera

This class covers the fundamentals of solo making and ways of integrating our cell phone camera as part of the choreographic composition to make a dance film. In this class we will not document a solo choreography. Instead, we will intentionally and strategically film our solo work in order to offer a specific experience to our viewers. Each student in this class will be guided through the process of making and composing movement phrases, asked to come up with a concept or choreographic intent, create a storyboard, film using their smartphones, edit with minimal effects, give constructive feedback to their comrades, and, most importantly, make a dance film they will be proud to show to the whole community at the end of the class.  

Class Needs

Technique class needs

  • Comfortable clothing, preferably form fitted depending on the technique, and hair pulled back off the face.
  • Space:
    • As open a space as possible, with a forgiving floor. Examples of spaces to use are a living room, garage, patio, etc. Reimagine the possibilities of where you can take class!
    • For all techniques, we recommend at least a 10 ft x 10 ft area and a ceiling that is out of reach when you extend your arms upwards.
    • For ballet barre, we recommend at least a 5 ft x 5 ft area that allows you to extend your limbs freely and that you have something to hang on to (chair, table, half-wall, staircase bannister, bookshelf, etc.).
  • A journal! To record valuable notes from faculty and classmates.
  • We encourage students to come interested in continuing their physical practice while also engaging in personal reflection/dialogue about how they can occupy their own space in movement.

Repertory & Creative class needs

  • Comfortable clothing.
  • No specific space requirement, everything is conditioned by confinement.
  • Work outside of class time may include video editing, viewing dance, journaling, short readings, rehearsal, and making dance.
  • Classes will require the use of a device for video recording, as well as the ability to access shared google drives.
  • A journal! To record valuable notes from faculty and classmates.


michelle gibson

Michelle Gibson – Choreographer, Cultural Ambassador, Educator, Mother, and Performing Artist received her BFA in Dance from Tulane University and her MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ The American Dance Festival at Duke University. Her teaching practice and choreographic works range from genres of the African Diaspora, Contemporary / Traditional / Afro Modern, Afro Funk, Jazz, and her own New Orleans Second Line Aesthetic. Cultivating her craft over the past years to preserve her culture Michelle has been teaching and creating works that are firmly rooted in New Orleans culture and has defined this idea as her own “Second Line Aesthetics” that she has determined involves both technical and improvised movement, brass music and the embrace of communal ritual. Sharing her culture aboard Michelle was invited to Rennes France teaching her New Orleans Second Aesthetics and Guest Lecture with the Compagnie Engrenage and the festival Le Funk Prend Les Rennes (translated the Funk Takes the Reins).

The festival honored and focused on the brass band culture of New Orleans both music and dance also focusing on Nigerian Afrobeat. A nine-year faculty member with the American Dance Festival and currently a candidate working towards receiving the Katherine Dunham Technique Certification she has had wonderful opportunities teaching her Afro-Modern technique, lecturing on culture inclusion within the arts, and setting choreographic works at various intensives, institutions and universities not to mention choreography for several theater companies and live entertainment organizations locally, in the U.S and internationally. As a freelance artist presently living in Dallas TX and dance faculty member at Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts, Michelle is dedicated to her energies, pedagogical practice, and performance-based research geared toward culturally cultivating and engaging communities and the world aboard.

momar ndiaye

Momar Ndiaye is an Internationally recognized performer, choreographer, and videographer from Senegal. Ndiaye has training in contemporary dance, improvisation, contact improvisation/partnering, interactive dance with technology, dance for the camera, and is fluent in many African dances from Senegal, Guinea, Mali, and Congo. He received his MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois in 2017 and was awarded with the prestigious Bruno Nettl Award for excellence in choreography for his thesis work, “Point 0” upon graduation. Ndiaye has created and toured several staged contemporary dance works along with choreographies for music videos with his own company, “Cadanses”, since 2004.

As a teacher, Momar Ndiaye has taught African dance forms, Improvisation, street dance, and contemporary dance in major dance festivals in Africa, Europe and America. Momar Ndiaye has also been teaching at the university level in the US since 2014 at U of I as a graduate student, UNCA, Denison University, and Ohio Wesleyan University as a lecturer. Momar is currently a full-time assistant professor in the department of dance at Ohio State University. 

Matt Pardo

Matt Pardo – M.F.A., AEA.  Experience: Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, River North Chicago Dance Company (apprentice), Pittsburgh Opera, Groundworks Dance Theatre, “Einstein on the Beach” (Olivier Award – Best Opera), Lucinda Childs Dance Company (company member/company class instructor), among others. Dance Europe Magazine selected him as a “Top 100 dancer in the world” for 2010/2011 and called him “an artist to watch”. Pardo is a co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based organization, The Blanket (, which has been featured in Dance Magazine-online, Departures Magazine (American Express), and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Recent choreographic and teaching credits include the American Dance Festival, Point Park University, Elon University, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Centre National De Danse (Paris), and Slippery Rock University. Recent writing includes an article in the Journal of Dance Education discussing the use of experiential observation in developing a practice of performance and an insert in the Genius Guide to College Dance Programs. Pardo is an assistant professor at James Madison University.

Photo by Dirty Sugar

ADF offers equal opportunity of admission to all applicants.