Summer break has been shorter for our students over the last few years as local schools have adopted the balanced calendar. For two seniors, the break seemed even shorter as they took advantage of special courses at out-of-state colleges. Kaleb Dunn took two college classes via the Pre-college: Rising Star program at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, and Emma Delaney spent three weeks at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee at the Berklee College of Music studying ballet.
For Kaleb, the SCAD opportunity seemed to come about by chance, possibly due to his SAT scores and interest in engineering. He received a letter about the program and an opportunity for a scholarship to the five-week summer program last spring and applied. He was accepted and even received a scholarship, so Kaleb changed his plans for the summer.
He originally was cast in one of the New Albany RiverStage Productions but gave up that opportunity to attend the Rising Star program. He was still able to attend the week-long Hoosier Boys State program in early June, and the next week he headed to Savannah and SCAD.
The Rising Star program includes two course for college credit, and Kaleb took photography and
computer-aided product design. He said he enjoyed the classes, especially learning how to take interesting shots in photography and seeing how other people compose their shots. The design class gave him experience using the design program CAD, and he is now considering pursuing industrial design over mechanical engineering in college.
He also got a taste of living on a college campus – but with more structure and a curfew. Like many college students, he shared a suite in a dorm with several students and ate in the college cafeteria. He said he enjoyed the chance to see what living away during college will be like. But his favorite part was meeting so many new people.
“I enjoyed the people a lot,” Kaleb said. “It was interesting to be in a different community of people.”
Kaleb is involved in theatre but had never immersed himself in a community of visual artists as he was at SCAD. Having missed the chance to perform this summer, he said he is ready to start rehearsing for the fall show and learning his role of Alf, a sailor in Peter and the Starcatcher.
As much as he enjoyed the experience, Kaleb said he does not plan to apply for admission to SCAD for college. Instead, he plans to apply to the University of Pennsylvania and Transylvania University.
Summer program offers senior new styles of dance
Emma spent three weeks in the Summer Dance Intensive program at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee studying and performing different types of modern dance. She was accepted into the program after auditioning during a dance conference she attended in Phoenix in May. She also was accepted into a 2018 Summer Dance Intensive at the Charlotte (N.C.) Ballet as well as entrance into college dance programs at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga., Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kent State in Ohio.
She said she chose the program at Boston because she had never been there and it gave her the opportunity to explore modern dance – something different than her lifelong study of ballet. She has taken ballet classes as long as she can remember, and performs with her dance troupe, The Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, as well as for special Louisville Ballet performances on occasion.
Emma was one of 40 dancers in the program, but there were also high school students taking part in summer programs in voice, musical theatre and composition. She said in a dorm and was able to meet students from all over the country, which was one of her favorite parts of the experience.
“I really liked just getting to meet all these new, different people and experiment with different styles of dance,” she said. “I liked getting to meet different young people with the same aspirations and goals that I do. It was very empowering.”
She said she also enjoyed learning from so many different professional dancers and hearing their stories about their experiences as dancers. And she now has a better understanding of how conservatories work and the classes and schedules they offer.
As much as she enjoyed trying out other styles of dance, ballet remains her favorite, she said.
“It’s just the technical aspect and the discipline required for it and the movement of it,” she said.
She plans to study ballet in college and right now is leaning toward the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, but she does plan to tour the school’s where she was accepted into the dance program – and apply for acceptance into the college itself.