Dance Academy Summer Intensive

Enhance your ballet training and experience life on the beautiful Colburn campus during this one-week intensive. Students will grow through close work with Colburn’s distinguished faculty and special guest teachers. 

Classes will include but are not limited to ballet technique, contemporary, partnering, conditioning, and exploring approaches to artistic perspectives through conversations and various repertoire. 

Program Overview  


June 17–22, 2024
Monday-Saturday 9:00 am–5:00 pm 

Age Range  

14–17 years old  

Faculty will include (but not limited to): 

Margaret Tracey
Seth Belliston
Yuka Fukuda
Zippora Karz 

Student Requirements 

Approximately three years classical ballet training and proficiency in pointework for those training en pointe.


The Colburn School’s downtown Los Angeles location offers access to some of the best venues, art installations, and dining experiences in the country. During the intensive, you can explore all that LA’s cultural center has to offer, and even stay on campus in Colburn’s dorms.

Tuition and Fees  

Audition Fee: $35
Tuition: $1,100
Registration Fee: $25 

Residential Fees (optional) 

Room and board: $805 

How to Apply

Audition Requirements: 

Dancers must audition at one of our two in person auditions. Video auditions are also accepted.  

Los Angeles 

The Colburn School
200 S Grand Avenue
Sunday, January 28, 11:30 am to 2 pm
Registration begins at 11:30 am 

New York 

The Ailey School
405 W 55th Street
Sunday, March 10, 1 to 3:30 pm
Registration begins at 1 pm 

Video applications will be accepted for the 2024 Dance Academy Summer Intensive Program and the 2024–25 Colburn Dance Academy. A $35 registration fee is required for both in-person and video auditions. Please send audition videos to 

Registration  Deadline 

April 15, 2024 

Audition Information

Register for Auditions

Dance Saturday Spotlight: Cameron Fikes

This interview has been edited for style, content, and clarity.

When did you begin dancing?

When I was younger, I loved playing dancing games, like Michael Jackson Experience and JustDance. I’d have so much fun playing with my family and that’s when my mom said, “We need to put you in some dance classes!”

For about two years, I went to the Dance 411 studio in Atlanta, Georgia, where I’ve lived most of my life. I started dancing when I was around eight, and then at 10, I moved to California. Seeing all the incredible dancers in the area really overwhelmed me. So, I decided to take a break from dancing through the pandemic. But when you love something so much, it’ll always find you and pull you in. So, the dance classes and training resumed, and I was accepted into the Los Angeles High School for the Arts here in Los Angeles. It was here that I realized that there was so much to discover in dance. This was when I experienced the official spark!

What is it about dance that’s so appealing to you—how does dance fulfill you?

As I discovered more about dance, I realized that dancing is more than doing moves. Dancing is an emotional release, a full-body expression, a way to discover more. It’s a very spiritual and out-of-body experience that’s helped me through some challenging times.

How did you learn about the Colburn School?

Former directors, Ms. Alexa and Ms. Fiona, of the Los Angeles High School for the Arts introduced me to Colburn through a dance performance. Between the musician playing the flute and the student dancing—I was amazed!

I started my technical ballet journey a little bit later than usual so I wasn’t too into ballet. But seeing this dancer and hearing the live music showed me a whole different side of ballet movement. This is what drew me to the Colburn School!

Now that you’re over a month into the fall semester and have danced with live accompanists, have you found value in that experience?

Yes! I grew up on recordings: Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, you name it—my teachers used it. So, getting the honor to have a live accompanist is of huge value to me. You feel every note, every chord, every beat, and you feel real energy coming back at you. I’m very grateful that we have access to musicians.

Why have you made the decision to pursue and invest time in dancing?

A core memory I have is a teacher telling me that, “[I] have nothing to prove and everything to share.” I want to share, express, and help others to do the same. It’s something I’m very passionate about!

Would you talk about some of the classes you’re taking as a Dance Academy student?

One of the things I love about the Colburn Dance Academy is its comprehensive program. In the mornings we always start with a ballet technique class, which sets us up for the day ahead. Then, a ballet variations class that gives us a chance to strengthen our stamina, performance quality, and gives us a good challenge. In the second half of the day, we’ll usually have a rehearsal and/or a Modern, Contemporary, Conditioning, Tap class, or Artistic Inquiry where we discuss both contemporary and older artistic topics.

And as someone who’s extremely invested in human anatomy and body recovery, having physical therapy, floor barre, and conditioning offered to keep our bodies healthy is something that I love! Margaret [the dean of Trudl Zipper Dance Institute] pushes body care and that is something that I really value.

With the variety of dance styles, do you have a preferred one?

I find a mix of Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, and Modern all within Contemporary. To me, Contemporary can be anything which is why I love it so much!

Thinking of all your past dance experiences, do you find your learning experience at Colburn to be different in any way?

Yes! Since it’s a small group of us, we are able to get lots of individual and personalized feedback that’s instrumental for our growth. It motivates us and pushes us to become stronger.

What’s some advice you’d share with a prospective dance student?

Stay open and take risks. This applies to everything. Don’t do a whole bunch of stuff you’re comfortable with. Don’t do everything that’s easy. Push yourself. Accept the challenge and allow it to fuel you. You can’t expect to grow to new and higher places staying where you’re comfortable.

Is there a favorite ballet or choreography that you admire or that has influenced you in a deep way?

We are preparing for our Colburn Winter Dance Celebration, and we’re doing a ballet called Valse-Fantaisie by George Balanchine. We are going to be premiering an original work set by Janie Taylor, a choreographer from LA Dance Project and former Principal with New York City Ballet. She came to campus and created a piece specifically for us. As someone who’s greatly interested in creative direction and choreography, it was incredibly inspiring and influencing to be a part of this choreographic process and see Janie in action.

You mentioned an interest in choreography. Are you planning on participating in the Student Choreography Showcase in the spring?

Don’t even get me started… I’m SO excited! I’m already thinking about my cast, music, and moves. My mom has already heard SO much about it! I really love creating and seeing my work performed.

See the Music, Hear the Dance is coming up at the end of this month. There will be featured artists from The Joffrey Ballet performing with Conservatory students and faculty. Would you share what your role is for the event?

I will be co-hosting with Ms. Tracey and there will be a discussion with Leslie Carothers, [former principal at Joffrey,] who is also Dance Academy faculty, and Mr. Wheater [(Ashley Wheater)] the Artistic Director at The Joffrey Ballet.

Looking toward the future, do you envision dance being a part of it?

For sure! I have a really big vision; choreographing, dancing, acting, music, and creative direction are all components of it. Dancing is something that’ll forever stick with me.

With dance being a big component of your day-to-day, do you have time for other interests?

Yes, I make time—I believe in living life to the fullest and one of the ways I fulfill this idea is by pushing myself into new activities. This year, I introduced Aerial Silks, volunteering at an animal shelter, and I am continuing my growth in acting and music.

In addition to your Colburn events, what’s on your dance horizon?

I plan to continue with my technical training through high school and college. And take that with me as I explore the world and my path: creative directing, dancing, acting, learning, being, growing, sharing, and most of all living!


Access to excellence is the core tenant of the Colburn School. The School recognizes some students may require financial support to cover the cost of their studies. Thanks to the support from our donor community, we are able to offer generous scholarships at all levels of development. Special appreciation goes to Ann Moore, David Kobrin, and Michael S. Turner, and Colburn Society members, whose support of dance makes the excellence of the Colburn School accessible.

If you would like to learn more about supporting our work with students like Cameron Fikes, contact

Jill Nunes Jensen

Jill Nunes Jensen is a member of the Colburn faculty where she teaches courses in artistic inquiry and leads conversations with invited guest artists. Dr. Nunes Jensen is also a member of the Dance faculty at Loyola Marymount University. She has a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside and a masters in Dance from UCLA.

She has instructed courses in dance history, ballet technique, dance as social action, choreography, and serves as a senior thesis mentor. For years, her research has been the primary scholarship on Alonzo King LINES Ballet and she has presented on the company internationally. Her work has been published in the journals Dance Chronicle and Theatre Survey, in addition to the books When Men Dance, Perspectives on American Dance: The Twentieth Century, and Re-thinking Dance History (2nd ed.). Dr. Nunes Jensen has organized conferences in Los Angeles and New York City, and has served on the executive board of what is now the Dance Studies Association.

In 2016, she co-curated the first conference dedicated to contemporary ballet at the Center for Ballet and the Arts (NYU) and Barnard College (Columbia). She has been an invited speaker at the San Francisco Ballet’s Boundless Symposium (2018), Duke University (2019), and the University of Maryland (2021). As co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet (2021), the first treatment of contemporary ballet as a discipline, Dr. Nunes Jensen’s work and pedagogical approach to dance history seeks to shift the discourse of ballet studies by centering the work of artists of color. At present, she is working on a monograph about Alonzo King LINES Ballet, a San Francisco-based company founded by King in 1982.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For the 2023–24 school year, tuition is $7,000 with an activity fee of $300. A limited number of merit scholarships are granted and financial aid is available.

Please contact Gavin Kelley at or 213-621-1085 for more information regarding financial aid.

Leslie Carothers

As a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet, and as an international guest artist, Leslie has danced extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She was featured on television in “Dance in America’s: A Night at The Joffrey,” televised on PBS, The Diana Ross ShowThe Merv Griffin Show, and others. During her many years as a leading dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, she danced a wide range of principal roles, in works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Ben Stevenson, Glen Tetley, and Twyla Tharp, amongst others. During her career, leading roles were created for her by Robert Joffrey, William Forsythe, Gerald Arpino, Dwight Rhoden, John Clifford, and many others.

In the Pennsylvania Ballet, Leslie danced the title roles in The NutcrackerSwan LakeCoppéliaGiselleThe Sleeping Beauty, and John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as an extensive repertoire of the ballets of George Balanchine.

Leslie served as ballet faculty and Dance Institute Director at the Colburn School of Performing Arts for almost a decade, and currently travels as guest teacher to schools across the United States and Europe, including the ABT William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Finnish National Ballet School. She also teaches ballet, Pilates, and Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® classes in the Los Angeles area. Leslie is proud to serve as a mentor at the annual Floor-Barre® Teacher Certification Courses around the world, and on the managing board of directors for the Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® Foundation.

Yuka Fukuda

Yuka Fukuda, originally from Tokyo, Japan, trained at Tokyo Junior Ballet and Asami Maki Ballet Arts. Upon coming to the United States, she trained at George Mason University in Virginia and The Ailey School in New York City. On graduating in 1999, she was invited to join Ailey’s second company Ailey II, performing with them from 1999–2002.

Yuka went on to be a company member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre for two years. She performed in six productions of The King and I, including at the venue Papermill Playhouse, as well as several national tours. She played the role of Victoria in Cats at West Virginia Public Theater. She served as an assistant choreographer for the production of Gospel Gospel Gospel directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid. She has worked with renowned choreographers such as Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Donald Byrd, Ronald K. Brown, and many more.

As a teacher, she has taught at the Nang Young Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, Dallas Black Dance Academy, and headed up the Modern department at Champs Charter High School for the Performing Arts. She is also a faculty member at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Lula Washington Dance Theater, and City Ballet of Los Angeles.

She has completed her Horton pedagogy training with Anna Marie Forsyth.

Johnnie Hobbs III

Johnnie Hobbs III is a filmmaker and tap dance teacher. His directorial efforts include Pan African Film Festival Best Film Nominee Nostalgia, short film drama starring Dule Hill (The West Wing, Psych), Chloe Arnold (Syncopated Ladies) and Jason Samuels Smith. Winner of Best Short Film at The Cleveland Urban Film Festival, NOSTALGIA has been shown on Aspire TV, and SHORTS HD Channel. Johnnie has since directed and produced five other short content works. In addition, he has directed motion capture pre-visuals mocap company, House of Moves.

A long time tap dancer and performer from Alaska to Guatemala, Johnnie teaches as an Adjunct Dance Professor at AMDA LA, Hussian School, as well as the Colburn School and Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. He recently provided choreography for Kelly Marie Tran’s 2021 MISCAST performance for MCC Theatre, from The Book of Mormon. He’s been an Artist in Residence at University of Colorado, guest speaker at Broadway Dance Center, Temple University, Santa Monica College, and Art Institute of Philadelphia to name a few.

Timothy Lynch

Timothy Lynch is from Mineola, NY, and received his dance training from the School of American Ballet. In 1993, Tim joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, and performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Four Temperaments and works by Jerome Robbins, Kent Stowell, and Paul Taylor. He originated roles in works by Donald Byrd, Val Caniparoli, Kevin O’Day, Mark Dendy, Kent Stowell, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Tim’s rich performing experience includes character roles such as Carabosse in Ronald Hynd’s Sleeping Beauty, Herr Drosselmeier in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker, and Gamache in Kevin Mackenzie’s Don Quixote.

Film works include the role of Nick Bottom in the BBC production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tim became co-director of PNB’s Outreach Youth Performing Group in 2001 and began teaching in PNB’s Dance Chance program. In 2003, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a full-time faculty member, where he choreographed and helped shape the men’s program for over 10 years. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, graduating summa cum laude. Tim has been guest faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, and Western Washington University.

He founded Seattle Dance Project in 2007, where he was both Artistic Director and a dancer. He has performed works by Donald Byrd, James Canfield, Pat Catterson, Molissa Fenley, Kiyon Gaines, Edwaard Liang, Wade Madsen, Eva Stone, Kent Stowell, Olivier Wevers, Ellie Sandstrom, and Hilde Koch. Tim has choreographed for Cornish College of the Arts, Dance Contemporary, and the Creative Dance Center. He earned the KOMO Kids First Award for mentoring local youth in 2011, and was awarded Educator of the Year 2012 from the Dance Educators Association of Washington. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continues to find ways to further his professional development.

Tim served as the Academy Director for BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio from 2014–16. He created a boy’s program, expanded the pre-professional trainee program and rebranded its adult dance fitness classes. His choreographic work in Columbus has been showcased at the Ohio Dance Festival and at the Capitol Theater.

In 2016, Tim and his family moved back to the West Coast and in 2017, he co-founded the Lynch Dance Institute in San Diego with his wife Alexandra Dickson. He recently obtained his yoga certification and teaches at Core Power Yoga. Tim began working at the Colburn Dance Academy in 2017 and is grateful to Jenifer and James for including him in the fantastic work taking place at Colburn.

Romy Karz Rapoport

Romy is a native of Southern California. At the age of 15, she became a student on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet (the official school of The New York City Ballet). At 17, she was chosen by Peter Martins to participate as an exchange student with The Royal Danish Ballet, and at age 18 she joined The New York City Ballet, where she danced for nine years. She has performed principal and solo roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments, Who Cares, La Valse, Symphony in Three Movements, Agon, and Concerto Barocco.

Romy has appeared on national television on the Dance in America broadcast of An Evening with Balanchine and the movie The Nutcracker. Ms. Karz Rapoport has 30 years of teaching and choreographing experience for ballet students of all ages, and holds a certification as a yoga instructor as well. She is passionate about helping dancers of all ages maintain healthy technique as they pursue their passion.

Janie Taylor

Janie Taylor was born in Houston, TX where she began her ballet training at age two with Gilbert Rome. She trained at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans from 1993–1996. After attending two years of the summer program at the School of American Ballet, she became a full-time student in the fall of 1996. While a student at SAB she originated a featured role in Christopher Wheeldon’s Soirée Musicale for the spring workshop performance in June of 1998. She received the Mae L. Wien Award at the SAB Annual Workshop and was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet. A month later, she became a member of NYCB’s corps de ballet. She was promoted to the rank of Soloist in February 2001 and to Principal in 2005. During her career with New York City Ballet she originated roles in ballets choreographed by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, and Justin Peck. She also performed featured roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as pieces by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Susan Stroman, Twyla Tharp, and Miriam Mahdaviani. Ms. Taylor appeared in the film Center Stage directed by Nicholas Hytner which was released in 2000.

She retired from the New York City Ballet on March 1, 2014 and began working as a répétiteur setting ballets on companies around the world. At that time, she also started a career in costume design. Her designs can be seen at the New York City Ballet, and L.A. Dance Project. Ms. Taylor has been teaching dance at Colburn since 2016. She is currently a dancer and rehearsal director for L.A. Dance Project.