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Summer Workshop 2017

An immersive, three-week workshop for pre-professional and professional dancers
June 4 - 23, 2017
Purchase College


The 2017 Summer Workshop marks our 18th year of teaching and sharing our work and process. I’ve always seen this intensive as a way of channeling the philosophy of the dances we create into a shared experience. For three weeks, we’ll live together, work together, create together, and grow together. The Company builds a safe haven that allows you to challenge yourself in both mind and body and explore the individual qualities that we each possess as artists. I am confident that the personal teaching approach of the Company will leave you with new ideas, new answers and new questions about why we all do what we do: DANCE.

Pilates/Morning Warm Up (Optional)

This class will consist of a series of mat exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in combination with somatic and rehabilitation exercises that strengthen the body’s core muscles and connect the mind and body. This class will prepare you for a full day of dancing! Pilates/Morning Warm Up will be taught by former company member, Stephanie Liapis.

Modern Technique

This highly technical, movement-based class investigates the line of human movement and how it can affect the broader strokes of our dancing. Through the expansive use of the back and limbs, Varone’s style will be explored through an emphasis on breath, strength, dynamic lyricism and musicality.

Phrase work

This class investigates individual phrases created on the spot as well as phrases from Company repertory. Students will focus on quick assimilation and exploration of movement in terms of quality and musicality.


This class encourages the individual dancer to be their whole self within the material, and to nurture and expand the form’s technical and expressive parameters from barre work to flight while exploring the ever shifting balance between rigor and ease. Each student will take ballet in the afternoon for half of the three weeks. Ballet will be taught by Megan Williams.


Improvisation will provide an opportunity for students to hone in on their individuality, creativity, and ability to make choices in the moment. Each student will take improvisation in the afternoon for half of the three weeks. Improvisation will be taught by former company member, Keith Johnson.


Each student will choose one elective class from the list below for the entirety of the three weeks.  

Repertory - Large Work
Company members will stage a section of one of Varone’s larger group works on participants for an informal performance at the end of the workshop. The class will focus on movement dynamics and spatial awareness within group choreography, as duets and solos gather seamlessly into group explosions of choreographed chaos.

Repertory - Exploring Excerpts
This class will spend short intense spans of time exploring excerpts (i.e. duets, trios, etc.) from a variety of pieces, offering an overview of Varone's work. Through this investigation, the class will experience the wide range of movement dynamics, emotional nuance and spatial architecture inherent in Varone's choreography.

Choreographic Devices with Doug Varone
Varone will emphasize compositional structure and explore new devices for expanding and inventing material. A large body of material will be created, varied and manipulated both in and out of the studio, pushing towards the development of a new work utilizing the material built in class.

For students seriously interested in choreography. Enrollment is based on choreographic experience. Students who rank this as their first or second choice should submit a choreographic resume and a link to video footage of a recently choreographed work. Please send to no later than May 5.

New Work
This class will focus on the creation of a new work by former company member, Keith Johnson. Participants will be involved in the creative process and will have the opportunity to explore the personal and performance aspects of the dance throughout the three weeks.

Performance Skills
In this class, dancers will examine how to use time, focus, awareness and identity as tools to explore the performance experience and build a performance practice. We will strive for authenticity and expressivity in daily discussion, observation and comprehensive movement exercises. Performance Skills will be taught by former company member, Stephanie Liapis.


Daily company rehearsals open for student observation
Improvisation Jams
Special Workshops
Social Events

PURCHASE COLLEGE is located in Westchester County, NY on 500 acres of unspoiled woods and open meadows and is home to the Neuberger Museum of Art, which houses an exceptional collection of 20th-century American art – a perfect setting for reflection and inspiration. A 35-minute train ride away is New York City – an unlimited cultural resource of dance performances, theater, and museums.

Students will be housed in Purchase College's Alumni Village apartments. Four students, each with a single bedroom, will share an apartment with bathroom, living room, kitchen and laundry facilities. Linens are not provided. Apartment living allows our participants to be self-sufficient in their food planning and preparation. Food is available on campus or in grocery stores a short bus or car ride away.

April 5 (extended deadline): Last day to apply for a Work-Study position
May 1: Last day to register
May 15: Final payment due
June 4: Check in (12 - 3 pm) and orientation at Purchase College
June 5 - 23: Summer Workshop
June 24: Check out (11 am - 2 pm)
Tuition: $1,500
Housing: $1,250
Parking Pass: $27

We award a limited number of work-study scholarships each year based on an application process. Please note that you must register for the workshop before you apply for the work study program. Application forms are included in the confirmation email that you will receive after registering, and must be submitted electronically by April 5. Awards generally range from $50-350, with a workload that corresponds to the amount of the award. Work-study assignments will not conflict with your attendance in the workshop, and are generally scheduled during lunch breaks or at the end of the day.


Please complete the online registration form along with your initial tuition payment. If you prefer to pay by check, contact our office at 212-279-3344 before beginning the application process.


How can I pay for this program? 
You can pay either by check or by credit card. To pay by check, please contact our office by phone at 212.279.3344 or by emailing To pay by credit card, there's no need to contact the office; you'll be asked for your payment information during the online registration process.

Is there a payment plan? 

Upon registration, you will have the option to pay in full or to pay an initial $1350 installment. If you pay an installment upon registration, your remaining balance will be automatically billed to your credit card on May 15. A $160 non-refundable registration fee is included in your initial payment.

Is there financial aid available? 
Yes. We award a limited number of work-study scholarships each year, based on an application process. Please note that you must register for the workshop before you apply for the work study program. Application forms are included in the confirmation email that you will receive after registering.

Applications must be submitted electronically by April 5.

Awards generally range from $50-350, with a workload that corresponds to the amount of the award. Work-study assignments will not conflict with your attendance in the workshop, and are generally scheduled during lunch breaks or at the end of the day.

What is the refund policy?
All refund requests must be submitted in writing. $160 of your tuition is a nonrefundable registration fee.

If you are no longer interested in on-campus housing, you must notify us in writing on or before May 15. You will be refunded $1,200 (full amount paid, less a $50 administration fee). No housing refunds can be guaranteed after May 15.

If you decide to drop out of the workshop before Apr. 1, you will be refunded in full (less the $160 nonrefundable registration fee). If you decide to drop out of the workshop between Apr. 1 and Apr. 15, DOVA will retain half of total fees owed + the $160 registration fee, and you will be refunded the balance. If you decide to drop out of the workshop after Apr. 15, we cannot offer any refunds.

If you need to drop out of the workshop because of a documented medical situation, an exception to this policy will be considered.

When do I know what elective I'll be in? 
After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to an online form for elective requests you'll rank the electives in order of your preference, and we'll get back to you with your class assignment. Priority in assigning students to electives is based on registration date, so for the best shot at getting the class you want, register early!  

I want to take more than one elective. Can I alternate between multiple classes?
Because of the relatively short span of the workshop, we cannot allow students to alternate between multiple electives. We've learned that a deeper involvement in one area provides a more fruitful course of study, allowing for a more significant comprehension of the subject matter. 

Is there a dress code for the workshop?
There is no dress code for our workshop, however we ask that you wear clothes that don't obstruct your dancing; sweats and a tank top or t-shirt is fine, or you're welcome to wear leotards and tights, as long as you're comfortable. Please don't wear excessively baggy clothes that could hinder your movement. Please bring ballet slippers for ballet class. We strongly recommend that you bring knee pads as well.

Do I have to audition? 
No auditions are necessary for admittance into the workshop. There will be a placement class on the first day to divide technique classes into levels. We ask that you not send videos or photos unless you are applying for financial aid or the Devices elective, in which case you must also submit additional materials. Admittance is on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you register, the better your chances are of being accepted into the workshop. 

How large are the classes? 
Class sizes depend on the total enrollment. In past years, technique classes generally range from 15-20 people per class, and afternoon electives vary depending on the class. Generally, there are no more than 20 people in any given class. 

Is there a performance at the end of the workshop?

There is an informal showing by each elective class at the end of the workshop, which you are welcome to invite your friends and family to attend. There are no costumes or lights, and showings are usually either in a studio or black-box theater. 

Can I pick my own roommates? 
Yes. In the housing section of the registration form, we ask for some information about your lifestyle so that we can match you up appropriately with other workshop participants. There is also a space on the form where you can give the name of a specific workshop participant if you know a particular person who you want to live with.  It is best to communicate with each other so that you both request each other. Roommates will be assigned after registration closes in May.

What do people do in their free time? Is there any free time? 
During the week, we have events scheduled almost every night. They are all optional, but a majority of students choose to attend most everything. Events include company showings, which are a wonderful way of dissecting the work; special Q & A nights with Doug Varone and with the company dancers, when you can ask questions about their lives in the company, as professional dancers in New York, and where they came from; bowling night; improvisation jams; special showings by guest artists, and many more. 

Although the weekly workshop schedule is very full, your weekends will be free. We will distribute information packets to workshop participants with details on things to do in town and neighboring cities. 

Can I get college credit for taking the workshop?

We do not offer college credit, however we have been able to work one-on-one with students who have coordinated with their individual universities. We will gladly provide documentation detailing your involvement in the workshop, so that you can negotiate with your college to get credit. 

I'm coming from out-of-town. When should I plan to arrive and depart so that I don't miss anything?  
On June 4, check-in will take place between 12-3pm; please plan to arrive at Purchase College within that window. Our welcome/orientation activities begin at 4pm. On June 24th, there are no workshop activities scheduled. Check-out will occur that day between 11am-2pm .

I live in New York City, and I'm thinking about commuting to Purchase College every day. Is that crazy?
Absolutely not! In past years at Purchase, we've had a large number of commuter students. Purchase College is accessible via MetroNorth and a city bus. For travel information to Purchase College, please visit Purchase College's website. Commuting from NYC is time-consuming, so be sure that you look in to that before committing, but it is definitely an option!

I am from out of town. What do those logistics look like?
The closest airport to Purchase College is Westchester County Airport. You can also travel via New York City airports and reach Purchase College by public transportation. For travel information to Purchase College, please visit Purchase College's website.

Have another question that isn’t answered here?
Send us an email:, or call 212.279.3344 today.

Doug Varone and Dancers’ 2017 Summer Workshop is made possible in part by Purchase College and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.