The True Value of Dance Camp

What's the True Value of Summer Dance Camp?


The Value of Dance Camp - Is It Worth the Money?

Is Dance Camp Really Worth the Money?!


We believe the true value of dance camp is not in the dance skills learned, but in the life lessons, memories, and self-esteem gained.

We believe the true value of dance camp is in the collaboration, creativity, outside-the-box thinking, and other socio-emotional skills you develop. These skills are in demand today and will be in demand in the future.

We believe overnight camp is a better place to learn these skills than school. And we believe dance camp is a safe place for girls to challenge any feelings of inadequacy that may plague them during the school year.

The Challenges Girls Face Today

In her book, The Myth of the Perfect Girl, Ana Homayoun speaks of the challenges today’s 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 include increased stress, constant anxiety, never feeling good enough, over-apologizing, and decreased productivity, creativity, curiosity, imagination and FUN.

She 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.

We understand this deeply.

9 Signs You're Benefiting from the True Value of Dance Camp

One of the best parts about running dance camps for 14 summers, is that alumni campers, parents and staff send us inspiring stories about how dance camp has helped shape who they are today.

Here are 9 common themes we've identified from these stories - 9 signs you're benefiting from the true value of dance camp...

Sign #1 – You Remember To Have FUN

We think an important value of dance camp is just remembering how to have fun. At camp you get to slow down, remember you're ALIVE, savor simple pleasures and do the things that give you joy.

Value of Dance Camp - Remember To Have Fun!

Sign #2 - You Shift Your Perception

At ADTC, we say that summer is a time of miracles. We define “miracle” as a shift in perception from fear to love. A miracle can come when you’re one with a movement, the music, or your new friends. But no matter if it comes in a smile, a performance or a kayak, when you feel it, you just know.

We think girls need more miracles…more self-love. And the world needs more inspired women.

Sign #3 – You Develop Intrinsic Motivation

A value of dance camp is that it 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.

According to ADTC Founder, Lindsey Fadner, “attending overnight gymnastics camp for 8 summers gave me the ability to love myself in a way I didn’t know I was capable of during school years focused on grades, clicks, going to the mall and prom.”

Sign #4 – You Learn Socio-Emotional Skills

Is empathy taught at school? Not really. There may be a banner in the gym saying, “be kind” or “don’t bully,” but we don’t learn values from banners. We learn values in real time, where it’s meaningful.

And research shows that we learn empathy by watching people around us. A value of dance camp is that teachable moments are happening all the time.

The Value of Dance Camp - Empathy

Sign #5 – You Practice Resilience

In her book, Teach Your Children Well, Madeline Levine, PhD writes that overnight camp fosters resilience. Resilience allows us to deal with the inevitable changes & losses in life.

We develop coping skills by being in situations that push us out of our comfort zones. And that’s another value of dance camp - every day we’re presented with a whole new set of challenges, some of which are easily accomplished, others of which take persistence, grit, and learning new skills.

Sign #6 – You Take Time to Reflect

Going away to overnight camp also provides a valuable time for reflection. Most girls don't have time to reflect when every minute is scheduled with high-pressure classes and activities.

A value of dance camp is it provides a tight-knit all girl community where we can feel safe to reconnect with the authentic “selves” so many of us struggle to hold on to during the school year. And at dance camp, we aren’t bombarded by confusing, fear-based messages that tell us to be skinner, wear makeup, and dress for boys.

Sign #7 – You Develop a Stronger Sense of Self

At camp, we develop a stronger sense of self and figure out who we are, which will prove invaluable when we’re faced with life's inevitable challenges later on.

At camp, you're in new situations, you're meeting new people, you're trying activities you've never tried before…you have to figure out how to meet social challenges, how to solve problems, how to pack your bag and find your dance shoes. In the process, you stretch and grow in meaningful ways.

Sign #8 – You Savor Doing What You Love

A particular value of dance camp is girls with a specific interest that is not always rewarded during the school year can get a lot of recognition.

At dance camp, girls who love dance get to showcase their talents and make new friends with the same interest. Instead of feeling bored or frustrated, they get to be excited and engaged. This may be a new feeling.

The Value of Dance Camp - Doing What You Love

Sign #9 – You Grow More Confident

Another value of dance camp is it gives girls the opportunity to earn competence in fun, doable tasks - whether it's in friendship bracelets or choreographing a dance - and this leads to new confidence. And we believe competence and confidence promote self-esteem, not trophies for just showing up.

Value of Dance Camp - Explore, Dream, Discover

P.S. Early Bird Dance Camp Rates Through April 20th!

Studies show that a key to happiness is having something to look forward you can brighten your daughter's school year as she gets excited for camp. This is your best summer rate. Hurry - ADTC Early Bird registration ends April 20, 2017!

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About the Author:

In 2003, at the age of 24, Lindsey Fadner organized a 3 week overnight 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. Questions? Contact her anytime at!