Our Culture

Culture is the lens through which we have been taught (for better or for worse) to view the world. Cultural competence is a set of competencies and skills that individuals and organizations can use to create an environment that values diversity.

Our People = Our Success

It takes a lot of enthusiastic, dedicated people to create American Dance Training Camps around the country. You've already read about our Great Teachers & Choreographers, but outside of camp we're also studio owners, professional performers, college and graduate school students, leaders, family members, volunteers, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, designers, freelancers, yogis, adventurers, do-gooders, travelers, seekers, runners, cultural explorers, green movementers, peace spreaders, curious ones & more!

Executive Team

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALindsey, "The Visionary"

In 2003, at the age of 24, Lindsey Fadner organized a 3 week overnight dance camp in Stratton, VT for students at her CT dance school. That pioneering venture evolved into American Dance Training Camps, the world's premier dance camps company. Still excited about it after all these years, Lindsey continues to serve as ADTC's spiritual leader, and CEO of all things relating to girls' self-esteem. Always on the hunt for new and interesting places to dance, her favorite camp continues to be the next one she's starting.

 

shannonShannon, "The Unifier"

Shannon is ADTC's Office Manager in San Francisco. Originally from Bethesda, MD, she performed with the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker two years at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and was accepted into the summer Boston Ballet Youth program. She was also a successful competitor & soloist in modern, jazz, tap & ballet in more than a dozen national dance competitions across the U.S. Shortly after relocating to San Francisco, Shannon returned to complete her BA in dance performance at San Francisco State University. Shannon has worked with Push Dance Company as well as CounterPULSE, a small SF community non-profit theater.

"DiverCity" (yes - we meant to spell it with a "C") is where we live at camp - an actual place (your "city" of residence for your summer week/s with us!) where campers and staff of different backgrounds, styles, perspectives, beliefs, and competencies live as a community.

The Dimensions of Diversity

>> We are all similar and different on a variety of dimensions, which make each of us unique.
>> We all have learned societal biases about others' dimensions that need to be acknowledged and transcended through learning, compassion, forgiveness and healing.
>> Tertiary dimensions of diversity are invisible at first glance. They include such differences as personality traits, learning styles, work style, task orientation, thinking style, management abilities, attention to detail, time management - anything that makes each of us different.

Things We Do at ADTC to Teach Campers to Value Diversity

>> ADTC "CEOs" (Chief Experience Officers) incorporate diversity activities such as icebreakers, idea sharing, experiencing exclusion, giving feedback, appreciating others, and so on into their daily time with campers 
>> Our international staff are a rich resource for information and awareness about cultural diversity.
>> Team meetings each day will focus on diversity by stressing the Platinum Rule: treat others as THEY want to be treated. The Platinum Rule (an update of the Golden Rule) gives others permission to be different from us, and reminds us to honor that difference.
>> The core values in our ADTC manifesto give CEOs many opportunities to address the topic of diversity with campers.
>> CEOs are encouraged to look for "teachable moments" when they can celebrate differences and help campers understand that the differences people bring to ADTC are valuable assets.

Why does belonging matter? Kids are 8 times more likely to drop out of something if they don't feel a sense of belonging! After food, sleep, shelter & safety, "belonging" is the next most important thing according to Maslow's "hierarchy of needs":

maslow-hierarchy

Think of a time when you DID NOT feel a sense of belonging. How did it influence you? Now think of a time when you DID feel a sense of belonging...what contributed?

At ADTC, we strive to create an environment where each and every girl feels a sense of belonging.

According to Ana Homayoun in The Myth of the Perfect Girl, "Girls and young women feel that they are succeeding in school and that they are failing in life for the same underlying reason - namely, they are all too good at becoming who they think others want and need them to be." Homayoun writes of the challenges girls face living in a culture of "perfectionism," which she defines as "striving for an ideal based on externally driven standards."

Effects of a Perfectionist Culture

Effects of a perfectionist culture include increased stress, constant anxiety, never feeling good enough, over-apologizing, and decreased productivity, creativity, curiosity, imagination and FUN. Homayoun even said that the majority of girls she interviewed for her book don't have an answer when asked what they do for fun - they don't know.

Instead, most girls are operating on an externally driven blueprint for how to be "successful" rather than listening to themselves. And when they don't meet the impossible ideal, girls withhold love from themselves and each other.

At ADTC, Girls are "Free To Be"

Camp gives girls the ability to love themselves in a way they don't know they're capable of during school years focused on grades, clicks, going to the mall and prom. At camp, self-love is easy. Camp inspires intrinsic motivation - autonomy, competence, connection, and a "flow" state you can't achieve when you're doing something for someone else or for an external reward.

At camp you slow down, remember you're ALIVE, savor simple pleasures and do the things that give you joy. At camp, girls are free to just "be."