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Dance the Summer Away

Sugarloaf Performing Arts has a full slate of summer camps and intensive sessions geared to students from the youngest dancers to those who dance at a pre-professional or professional level. “We have camps designed for all ages, from three-year-olds to professionals,” said Lori Zamzow-Wire, artistic director for Sugarloaf Performing Arts. The camps are organized for students in different age groups and abilities, and all are designed to stimulate technical ability and artistic growth.

Children ages 3 to 6 can take part in Frozen Fever or Elena’s Extravaganza, camps that have a Disney princess theme. For children this age, activities include dance classes, crafts and games designed to help with movement training. “The little ones really have a great time at these camps,” Zamzow-Wire added.

Kids who are a little older and a little more advanced in their skills can take more intensive programs to improve their technique and gain a well-rounded dance education, including learning about dance history, nutrition, and choreography, Zamzow-Wire said. Students at the premier and elite level attend day-long intensives where “they get saturated with dance all day. The summer is great for stimulating their learning and they make great progress in their technique. Repetition is the key to building a good foundation,” she noted. “We have kids who come from other studios, other programs, even from other states to get this intensive training.”

For students who want to continue their dance lessons over the summer but not so intensively, Sugarloaf offers a five-week session of evening classes, which allows beginning to intermediate students to try a new style of dance. Dancers, cheerleaders and gymnasts can also sign up for a mini tumbling camp.

For the summer programs, Sugarloaf has assembled a faculty of guest teachers to augment the regular teaching staff. “These guest teachers currently dance in different companies and enjoy teaching students who are dedicated and passionate,” Zamzow-Wire said. Instructors have worked with such companies as Alvin Ailey, Miami City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Georgia Ballet and the Cincinnati Conservatory. “It is wonderful to bring them all in one place to work with dancers in Gwinnett County,” she said.

As professional dancers, these instructors “know the industry, know what it takes to be a dancer, and will infuse students with the knowledge of what they need to be successful,” Zamzow-Wire said. In other words, they support Sugarloaf Performing Arts’ mission of inspiring young artists through excellence in arts education.

Sugarloaf offers scholarships for male students, and some summer classes are specifically geared to male dancers. Additionally, the organization provides full scholarships to a summer program for students selected by teachers of local high school dance programs.

These summer programs will be the first held in Sugarloaf Performing Art’s new 22,000-square-foot facility. An open house is planned for later this summer, but parents and students are welcome to stop in for a tour of the facility at 1070 Northbrook Parkway in Suwanee. Call 770-682-5333 or go to to schedule a tour or register for camp. Registration is open with early registration discounts through May 25.