Summer Dance Intensive

Dancer performing

Summer Dance Intensive (SDI) is an intensive summer training program for serious students aged 8-22. Our very own Hartt Community Division faculty are joined by renowned guest teachers to provide a well-rounded curriculum that challenges dancers to push past their limits and grow in their craft.

The Intensive offers training in the following genres:

  • Ballet
  • Character
  • Conditioning
  • Contemporary
  • Dance History
  • Jazz
  • Men's Classes
  • Modern
  • Pointe
  • Repertoire
  • Variations 


Auditions are offered in person or via online/DVD. 

Please note: HCD Dance students currently enrolled in the Ballet Program are not required to audition. They will receive their summer placement in the spring evaluations.

2024 dates and instructions forthcoming, check back.

Video Requirements

  • Video submission should be approximately 15-20 minutes in length.
  • Videos do not need to be professionally films, but should show the student’s full body clearly.
  • Videos can be filmed in a dance studio or home spaces. 
  • At the beginning of the video, you should introduce yourself and state your age, the number of year(s) of ballet/dance study, the number of years of pointe work (if applicable), the name(s) of your current school and teacher(s), and any previous summer intensive programs, festivals, and/or international ballet competitions in which you have participated. 

Dance Requirements

Barre Work (one side only)

  • Plie
  • Battement tendu
  • Rond de jambe à terre 
  • Battement fondu
  • Grand battement jeté

Center Work (one side only)

  • Adagio
  • Pirouettes
  • Petit Allegro
  • Grand Allegro

Pointe Work (based on students level)

  • Relevé
  • Enchappé
  • Pirouttes

Boys and Men

  • Two turning combinations
  • Petit allegro with beats
  • Tours en l'air, single or double

Younger students may omit the above and submit a video consisting of five minutes of barre work and five minutes of center work appropriate for their level of training. 

*We understand that some students who do not have access to a studio or suitable space may not be able to include all requested exercises. 


The Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center

Hartt Community Division’s Summer Dance Intensive will be held at:

The Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center
35 Westbourne Parkway, Hartford, CT 06112


There will be a showcase following Week 4 of the intensive.

Students must be registered for Week 4 in order to participate in the showcase, however they are not guaranteed to participate if only registered for Week 4.

Program Director

Sarkis Kaltakhtchian
Dance Faculty; HCD Dance Artistic and Education Director
HCD Dance

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2023 Guest Faculty

dale-merrill-640x640.jpgDale A. Merrill

Dale A. Merrill is the Dean and Professor of Dance at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Prior to joining The Hartt School, he was the Dean for the College of the Arts at California State University, Fullerton and at Chapman University. Dean Merrill has over 40 years of teaching credits and has been a guest teacher for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Backhausdance, Anaheim Ballet, Youth America Grand Prix, Cornish College of the Arts, Saint Joseph Ballet, Washington Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Bellevue, and the American College Dance Festival. His former students include So You Think You Can Dance contestants Katee Shean, Ade Obayomi and Stephen Boss, aka “Twitch”. Other former students are performing with the National Touring Company of Wicked and modern dance companies Momix, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Diavolo Dance Theatre and Damagedance. Prior to moving to Southern California, Dean Merrill was the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, Washington, a repertory contemporary jazz dance company performing works by Ann Reinking, Lar Lubovitch, Daniel Ezralow, Dwight Rhoden, Trey McIntyre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Daniel Buraczeski. Dean Merrill’s choreography was a part of the Spectrum Dance Theater repertoire for over 20 years and was performed across the country. Other choreographic credits include Seattle Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Fundraising Events, and Voices Across America starring Paul and Mira Sorvino for Public Television and numerous industrial and musical theatre productions. Dean Merrill graduated with a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah and an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington.

Stephen-Pier-640x640.jpgStephen Pier

Stephen Pier has performed throughout the world with the Royal Danish Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet, the José Limón Company and as a guest artist. His repertoire includes the works of Petipa, Bournonville, Balanchine, Cranko, Kylian, Limón, Neumeier and an array of contemporary dance makers. He created roles in original works for choreographers John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart, Kim Brandstrup, Laura Dean, and others earning critical acclaim as, “a dancer of tremendous taste and insight”, “highly defined, a tour de force”, and “one of the most gifted dancers on the modern dance scene today.” Mr. Pier is internationally respected as a teacher and coach of both Limón work and Ballet. He taught for the Royal Danish Ballet’s company and school while serving as ballet master and dancer from 1990 -1996 and was a full-time faculty member of the Juilliard School from 1996-2010. Pier teaches for notable companies and schools in Europe, America and Asia including Company Wayne McGregor, Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Rambert Contemporary Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Introdans, Scapino Ballet, Philadanco, and The New National Theater Tokyo. His students have joined leading companies including, The Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Forsythe Company, Netherlands Dance Theater, Martha Graham Company, Lar Lubovitch, José Limón Dance Co., Mark Morris Dance Group, Doug Varone and Dancers, Cullberg Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, and Bat Sheva.

Mr Pier is featured in the newly released book by renowned photographer Mark Mann, Movement at the Stillpoint, an Ode to Dance.

Katie-Stevinson-Nollet-640x640.jpgKatie Stevinson-Nollet

Katie Stevinson-Nollet is a Full Professor at the University of Hartford/Hartt School/Dance Division where she teaches Contemporary Dance Forms, Composition, Repertory, Dance for Camera and directs the Senior Composition concerts. She has been at the University since Fall of 2000. Katie also served as the Artistic Director of Full Force Dance Theatre for over twenty years. Her professional experiences as performer, choreographer and teacher, have taken her throughout the US and abroad.

Ms. Stevinson-Nollet’s choreography thrives in collaboration and delves in the exploration of the human condition. Her work has been presented at numerous venues and festivals across the country, and internationally. Collaborations include working with Hartford Symphony Orchestra at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Sybarite5 at the Forward Festival, with Duo Agosto with performances in Taiwan and Tokyo and with longtime collaborator Bassist Robert Black. Her work has been commissioned several times by San Diego Dance Theater. Other performances of her work have been seen at the Norfolk Music Festival, Jacobs Pillow inside/out, Sushi Performance Gallery in San Diego, Trolley Dances San Diego, The Florida Dance Festival, The International Arts Festival in New Haven, and various sites and venues throughout New York City including Joyce SoHo, the 92nd Street Y, and Gibney Dance.

As a performer, she was a member of San Diego Dance Theater; Isaacs McCaleb, and Dancers; Patricia Sandback and Dancers; Carolyn Dorfman and Dancers; Full Force Dance Theatre, and has enjoyed performing the work of multiple independent choreographers including Monica Bill Barnes, Peter Sparling, Mary Cochran and Lisa Race. From 2016-2018, Katie worked on a solo concert tour, Coming to the Surface, performing works by four renowned choreographers, David Dorfman, Jean Isaacs, Adam Barruch, and Kate Weare, and a collaboration with University of Hartford Professor and founding member with Bang on a Can, Bassist Robert Black.

Stevinson-Nollet holds a B.A. in Dance from San Diego State University, an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Michigan, and a Certificate from the London Contemporary Dance School.

Hilda-Morales-640x640.jpgHilda Morales

Hilda Morales started studying ballet and flamenco dancing at the Ballet de San Juan School and Company in Puerto Rico. At the age of 13 she received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet in New York City.

Principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and soloist with American Ballet Theatre, and artist-in-residence with the Colorado Ballet. She has appeared in the film "The Turning Point" (as Sandra) directed by Herbert Ross, Michail Barishnikov's televised "Nutcracker" (Chinese doll), Live from Lincoln Center Presents American Ballet Theatre's Production of the "Sleeping Beauty", "Swan Lake", and "La Bayadere". On Broadway starred as the Acid Queen in the ballet version of the rock opera "Tommy", choreographed by Fernand Nault of Les Grand Ballet Canadien. Guessed with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Normandy, dancing the "Black Swan" pas de deux with Lawrence Rhodes. It was the first time this prestigious orchestra had accompanied dancers.

Worked with such distinguished choreographers as Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Peter Gennaro, Ana Sokolow, Alvin Ailey, John Butler, Eugene Loring, Peter Darrel, John Neumeier, Rudolph Nureyev, Lynne Taylor-Corbet, Enrique Martinez, Edward Caton, William Dollar, George Verdak, Jean Paul Comelin, Michael Smuin, Jean Grand-Maitre. And has performed works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jose Limon, Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, and Jeffrey Holder.

Has taken ballet pedagogy teaching seminars by world renown teacher David Howard, and Susan Brooker (examiner of the Cecchetti Society and the ABT Curriculum). Ms. Morales is a Certified Teacher for the ABT's National Training Curriculum (under the direction of Franco de Vita and Raymond Lukens).

Has taught at the ABT School (Patricia Wilde, Director), Ballet Academy East, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (Marcia Dale Weary, Director), The Ballet Hispanico Center for Dance and Latin Culture (Tina Ramirez, Director), Colorado Ballet, Vassar College, Purchase University, Indiana University, Hartford Ballet, and currently teaches for the BFA Dance Degree at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford.


Hartt Faculty

Pamela Glauber
Faculty, HCD Dance
HCD Dance

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Janelle Holmes
Theater Faculty

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Felicia Isotti
Faculty, HCD Dance
HCD Dance

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Matisse Madden
Faculty, HCD Dance
HCD Dance

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Dale A. Merrill
Dean and HCD Dance Faculty
HCD Dance
Dean's Office for Hartt

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Rene Olivier
Dance Faculty
HCD Dance

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Cameron Whitney
Faculty, HCD Dance; Office Coordinator
HCD Dance

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Lindsay HansenLindsay Hansen

Lindsay Hansen holds an Associates of Arts degree in Dance from Naugatuck Valley Community College, along with her B.S. in Elementary Education with a cross endorsement in Dance Education K-12 from Central Connecticut State University. She has also completed her M.S in Educational Leadership from CCSU and 6th year from Quinnipiac University. Currently she is a full time Dance Educator at Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts in Hartford. She has been teaching Dance Education for over 10 years. She is currently an adjunct professor at CCSU teaching Jazz.

Tyler CaisseTyler Caisse

Tyler Caisse graduated from Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), receiving a BA in Theatre Performance. During his collegiate years, Tyler had the opportunity to train with dance professionals such as Elena Rusnak, James Robey, Elizabeth Parkinson, and Julio Matos. After graduation, he choreographed and performed with the Attak Dance Company under the direction of Elena Rusnak. Tyler choreographed and performed throughout Connecticut, including in the CDA Honorary Ceremony, Project Poetry Live hosted by the Matthew Westerby Dance Company, and numerous 5X5 Dance Festivals. Tyler choreographed the 2014 and 2015 WCSU Senior Showcase which were both performed in New York City. Tyler is a certified educator in Connecticut teaching dance and theatre in Hartford and Waterbury public schools. In Hartford, Tyler created and choreographed two original dance dramas titled Untold Stories and Bird Girl. Tyler directed and choreographed several award-winning productions. Recent directing credits include Anything Goes, All Shook Up, and Urinetown.