Frequently Asked Questions

Extension Division Dance Camp & Dance Conservatory 2012 022




What is the difference between the Conservatory Dual Week and the Conservatory single week option?
The dual week option includes weekend sessions when students attend a performance in New York, sit in on a college dance information session and participate in master classes. Dual-week students are also assigned a graduate student mentor who observes and assesses them during the program and provides one-on-one coaching and advisement over the weekend.

Dual-week students are assessed at the end of the first week to determine their class schedule for the second week. In addition, the dual week experience allows for a more sophisticated repertory and choreography process, where students develop a refined performance over a longer period of time, working closely with faculty as artists.

Single-week students intermingle with dual-week students for morning stretch, modern, ballet and workshops. Single-week students participate in separate repertory and choreography classes, developing works over the course of one week instead of two.

Are both sessions of the dance conservatory the same?  Is it recommended that students attend both sessions? 
Students are welcome to attend both weeks of the dance conservatory. Returning dancers will have the opportunity to be accelerated in the technique classes based on assessment results at the end of the first week.  During the second week, they will experience new repertory teachers and dances, make a new choreographic work, and attend a new concert and new workshops.

Can students who attend both weeks of dance conservatory remain in Rutgers University housing over the weekend in-between sessions?
Dance conservatory students attending both sessions do stay on campus through the weekend.  Pre-Conservatory students attending both sessions DO NOT stay on campus through the weekend.  Pre-Conservatory students must go home in-between sessions.

Does the dance conservatory require an audition for acceptance?

Is the Conservatory for new or experienced dancers?
The Conservatory is for experienced dancers.  The Pre-Conservatory is for dancers with some experience, but not for beginning dancers.

The Conservatory is for advanced dancers considering college dance study and professional careers in dance. An audition is required.

The Pre-Conservatory is for:

  • Experienced dancers who may not feel ready to audition for the Conservatory yet and want to develop and refine their skills
  • Experienced dancers who did not pass the audition for the Conservatory yet and who would benefit from informed study during the summer with the aim of advancing to the Conservatory
  • All pre-conservatory students attend placement classes on the first day of the program to determine the best faculty member match and best learning pace to develop skills and acuity.

What should I expect at the opening orientation?
All students (including commuters) are required to attend orientation on the first day of dance conservatory. During this time students will have the opportunity to meet peers and counselors, become familiar with the Dance Program, and receive information outlining important information about the week ahead.



How do placement classes work and why do we do them?
On the first day of dance conservatory, all students take a placement class in ballet and modern dance. College dance faculty will observe to determine how to group dancers based on learning strengths and needs and their best faculty match.  Dancers are analyzed in a number of areas, including alignment, core support, whole-body integration, application of rotation, strength, rhythmic acuity, phrase retention as well as other cognitive and social indicators.

A dancer’s skills in these areas and not his/her age or the number of years of prior dance training determine the placement into technical cohorts for the daily ballet and modern classes.  For this reason, it is possible for Pre-Conservatory and Conservatory dancers to be cross-enrolled in the technique classes.

During the first two days of the ballet and modern classes, the directors make rounds to confirm placements are correct. At the end of the first week, student accelerations are determined for dancers returning for the second week.

What if my Conservatory class level is not the same as the level I take at my studio?
Different schools have different criteria for their classes. Some schools base class composition on age cohorts or number of years of study and may accelerate students for a variety of reasons.

At Mason Gross, our faculty value anatomically sound principles and analyze a number of skills to determine placements that ensure maximum growth, success, and injury prevention.

We design instruction built on learners’ prior knowledge and assess carefully so that students accelerate in pace with motor and physical development and safety standards. A student’s class placement is made to help the student focus on a skill set that will lead to long-term success and is not a determination of the student as a “good” or “bad” dancer.

What is Morning Stretch, and do we have to do it?
Morning stretch is a daily class aimed at preparing the body for the daily technique classes while also disseminating information about dancer health, wellbeing, and safety. It includes a mixture of cardiovascular, stretch, and conditioning techniques gently paced for morning start-up and accompanied by Top 40 music.

What can I expect from the daily technique class?
Students attend daily technique classes in ballet and modern designed with the overarching goal of building aptitudes and skills through consistency as well as exposure to new concepts and material. Classes are structured to enable students to meet and work closely with Rutgers dance faculty. All students can expect a caring environment where students are encouraged to appreciate mistakes and to meet challenges that stretch their range.

What is the purpose of the dance workshops?
Dance workshops are designed to expand student’s exposure to the field of dance through a variety of topics. Students collect resources from each workshop, including helpful hand-outs, brochures, charts or web information. Each summer and each week, a series of different workshops are offered, so that returning students continue to build their dance knowledge base.

What is the Improvisation and Choreography Workshop and what is its purpose?
The Improvisation and Choreography Workshop provides students with the opportunity to collaboratively invent and perform their own scores or dances for the showcase at the end of each week. During the workshop, students will explore improvisational games, choreographic device or structure and gain insight into the choreographer’s compositional toolbox.

What is the Repertory Class?
During the Repertory class, students work closely with faculty choreographers to learn, develop and refine a dance that is performed in the Friday showcase.

What type of dance concerts will students be exposed to?
Throughout the two weeks of the conservatory, students will have the opportunity to attend a dance concert at Mason Gross, showcasing both guest artists, faculty and student talent.



Where are conservatory activities held?
All conservatory activities are held on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University. The Nicholas Music Center dance studios are where a majority of conservatory activities are held.

Will my child be safe on campus?
Yes. We take great care to supervise, buildings, surrounding areas, and all activities utilizing Extension Division staff and counselors. Dancers are not allowed to roam on the campus unattended by a counselor. Our program partners with the Graduate Program in Dance Education and recruits graduate dance education students as counselors.

Are college classes in session during the dance Camps and dance conservatory?
Yes. Conservatory participants and collegiate students may pass by one another occasionally. However, our conservatory events are distinct from all collegiate activity. Informal interaction between Rutgers student population and our conservatory guests is extremely minimal. In the dance conservatory, there are several supervised special events planned in which dancers have the opportunity to meet our BFA dance majors and alumni to discuss the college dance as a pathway to a career in dance.

Are dormitories nearby the instructional facilities?
The campus housing for dance camps is a 10-minute walk from the Nicholas Music Center dance studios. The cafeteria is on the way allowing for a convenient stopping point. Dancers are always accompanied by our counselors while walking on campus.

What meals are served to Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory participants?
All students (residents and commuting students), faculty, and staff eat lunch together onsite at the Nicholas Music Center. Lunches are catered by University Dining Services.

Residential students eat breakfast and dinner at the Nielson Dining Hall, nearby (a short walk) the dormitories and the Nicholas Music Center.

Are meals included in tuition?
Commuting student tuition includes lunch only. Residential student tuition includes all meals.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
Meeting the needs of the Rutgers University community year-round, University Dining Services is able to accommodate most, if not all, special dietary needs. Accepted students will have the opportunity to share special dietary considerations with University Dining Services in advance of the Summer Dance Conservatory.

Where do we eat lunch, and what is provided?
Rutgers Catering Services provides lunch for all students Monday–Friday. This lunch consists of a variety of ham, turkey, chicken, and roasted vegetable sandwiches or wraps.  Vegetarian and Vegan options are available.  Once per week, the Extension Division staff will order pizza. We also serve soda and water as well as salad, fruit, and cookies or brownies.

Lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. to all Conservatory students, faculty, and staff. Everyone dines informally together in the Nicholas Music Center. If a dancer has any special eating requirements this may be indicated on his/her health form and a special lunch can be provided.

When do we eat dinner, and what type of food is available?
For resident conservatory students, dinner is served at 6 p.m., immediately following the last class of the day. Residents dine together with counselors in the Nielson Dining Hall on campus, located on the walk to/from the dormitories.

The dining hall and Dining Services at Rutgers are very accommodating to student needs.  There are kosher, vegetarian, and salad bar options. If a dancer has any special eating requirements this may be indicated on his/her health form and special meals can be provided.

Are directions or campus maps available?
You may find maps and building directions here. Our address is:

Mason Gross School of the Arts
85 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Are dormitories air conditioned?
Yes. Students should still consider bringing fans for use in university housing.

Are window A/C units permitted?
No. Rutgers does not allow window units to be installed for personal use.

How does moving into the dorms work? What can I expect?
Students are asked to arrive at Rutgers on the first Sunday two hours prior to their first placement class. Parents will be provided with driving and drop off information for the Rutgers dorms where students will be staying. At check-in, students will be provided with keys, meal cards, and access to their dorm rooms.

Parents will be provided with driving and drop off information for the Rutgers dorms where students will be staying. At check-in, students will be provided with keys, meal cards, and access to their dorm rooms.

Students arriving on time for check-in will have approximately 2 hours to unpack and settle in their dorm room before being escorted to their first class. Wifi access is available to dormitory residents.

What should I bring?
Students will be provided with a packing list prior to their arrival at Rutgers. Conservatory students are limited to one large suitcase per person and one dance bag. The dorms are fully furnished air-conditioned student apartments. Students are not allowed to bring breakable items (such as mirrors or ceramic household items). Students are asked to arrive on the first day with their separate dance bags packed and ready for class.

Will there be time for snacks?
Dancers are encouraged to pack healthy snacks and water in their dance bags. There are 15-minute breaks between classes during which dancers may eat snacks.

What happens in the dorms?
On the first evening in the dorms, the counselors will review the dorm rules and safety. Early in the evening, students like to relax, check email, or to visit each other’s dorm rooms to play board games. Additional social activities for resident students will be coordinated by conservatory counselors.  Bedtime and quiet hours for all conservatory students is 10 p.m. Sleep is a major contributor to learning and during the evening, counselors perform routine checks to make sure all students are in their appropriate rooms with lights out.

What do I do with my laundry?
Students are advised to pack one week worth of dancewear and to bring coins and small portions of laundry soap in the event that they need to launder clothing or dancewear.


Where will my child stay on campus?
Students of Extension Division Summer Camps will reside in Voorhees Residence Hall or Perry Residence Hall.  Both halls are located on the Cook/Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

  • Information about Voorhees Hall, including map, directions, and amenities can be found here.
  • Information about Perry Hall, including map, directions, and amenities, can be found here.

All residents are bound to follow Rutgers University’s Student Policies for Dormitory Life, which can be found here.

Both residence halls are near the Cook Campus Center, the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center, and are a five-minute walk from Neilson Dining Hall.

Where is the best place to park?
Please park in lot 99A for move-in and check-in.

Who will be looking after my child?
Eight adult counselors will reside in the dormitories with students to ensure supervision of evening activities and social time and to keep students on schedule – morning, noon, and night! Counselors also provide supervision during non-class/rehearsal periods during the day time.

Can my child have guests in their room?
Residents are not permitted to have guests in their rooms or in the dormitories. Please note: parents are not allowed inside the dormitories except at the time of move-in.

Can my child bring a cell phone?
Students are encouraged to have cell phones. Student cell phone numbers will be requested in attached forms. Cell phones should be on vibrate or silenced altogether during rehearsal periods.

Who can I contact if I have any more questions?
If you have any more questions regarding residence life or the Rutgers campus, please call (848) 932-9363 or e-mail If you have any questions regarding security or public safety, please find that contact information here.


Is a schedule of activities available?
Yes, a sample schedule from past years is posted online; schedules year-to-year follow this general outline. Schedule subject to change.

How are instructors selected?
Faculty members are selected based on their outstanding accomplishment as educators and performers, and their demonstrated ability to work effectively with adolescents and pre-college-age students. We favor Mason Gross faculty, as well as teaching artists who have a strong connection to Mason Gross School of the Arts (i.e. alumni).

Who are the Counselors that oversee and participate in the Rutgers Dance Conservatory?
The counselors who supervise students during their stay on the Rutgers campus are current graduate students in the Dance Education Program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, as well as Ed.M. alumni with NJ Department of Education dance teacher certification.

During students’ stay at Rutgers, they will be accompanied at all times by either one or more counselors to and from all of their activities. Counselors are available 24/7 to all students and reside in adjoining dorms with conservatory students for supervision and safety.

Is private instruction available?
We do not offer private instruction during the dance conservatory. Students requiring assistance in learning parts or working out ensemble challenges will find help during scheduled instructional sessions, or by special arrangement with staff who are available to assist in aiding the student’s learning process.

How do you motivate my child?
Motivation comes from students who are excited to attend the conservatory, faculty who are well prepared and fully engaged in their work, repertoire that inspires developing artists, and a learning environment that is conducive to student achievement.  In the dance field, it is common to encounter teen dancers whose physical skills outpace their cognitive and social needs. Growth in all three areas – physical, cognitive and social – are critical factors in cultivating healthy dance artists.  At the dance conservatory, we consider all three areas of development when making determinations about student placement and progress.

How can Mason Gross summer camps help in college preparation?
Students learning from collegiate faculty and outstanding professionals engaged in successful dance careers come into contact with standards of excellence found at a premiere arts conservatory – the Mason Gross School of the Arts.  Additionally, Mason Gross Admissions staff will present a workshop on college admissions that will help students in their preparation for college, as dance students, and generally.

Will students have free time for activities?
After dinner, our resident dancers have the opportunity to relax and socialize in the dorms.  During the day, our intention is to build an exciting, intense, impactful week of dance experiences that will inspire students for the year to come.  We do plan fun social events, such as a barbecue and dance concert, but our focus in on providing excellent artistic experiences for our students.



Describe the application/audition process.
All prospective campers must register for the conservatory online.

When does registration begin?
December 15, 2018

Where do I register?
You may find the registration page here.

Can I register over the phone? 
No.  We only accept registrations online.

What is the tuition? 

Tuition is listed on the registration page here.

Please note:  Auto billing is required of all Dance Conservatory participants utilizing payment plans.  Any balance due as of the final payment plan installment will be charged automatically to your credit card.

How can I pay my balance due?
Credit Card Payment is made online via our secure registration system and you must return to your online registration account and complete payment via credit card using our secure payment portal. You may also pay in person via cash or check, or by mail via check.

Please make all checks payable to “Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey” Also, please be certain to identify your child’s name and the camp/institutes/he will attend. A $25 fee will be assessed for any returned check.

Our mailing address is :

Mason Gross Extension Division
Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory
Rehearsal Hall, Room 101
85 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 0890


Are payment plans available?
For information regarding payment procedures and payment plans for summer programs, please visit the “Payment Procedures” section of our summer program policies page, which can be found here.

Is financial aid available?
At the present time, we only have funding for the scholarships described below.

What scholarships are available?

Scholarship awards are available to students who study dance in a K-12 school and are on the following list of Dance Program Partner Schools that currently support a student teaching intern in dance. An audition is required for scholarship eligibility. Awards are made at the discretion of the Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory Director and the Partner School’s dance faculty.

Dance program partner schools from past years include: 

    • Bayonne High School, Bayonne, NJ
    • Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ
    • Cranford High School, Cranford, NJ
    • Franklin Township Schools (Somerset, NJ)
    • High Tech High School, North Bergen, NJ
    • Long Branch High School, Long Branch, NJ
    • Memorial High School, West New York, NJ
    • Middlesex County Vo-Tech, East Brunswick, NJ
    • Millburn High School, Millburn, NJ
    • Morris County VoTech, Denville, NJ
    • Passaic County VoTech
    • Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy, NJ
    • Piscataway High School, Piscataway, NJ
    • Watchung Hill High School, Watchung, NJ
    • Woodbridge High School, Woodbridge, NJ
    • Alexander Hamilton High School, Elizabeth, NJ
    • Arts High School, Newark, NJ

Otherwise, scholarship awards are based upon demonstrated merit for in- or out-of-state students identified by Mason Gross dance faculty at the live auditions or video audition. Awards are made at the discretion of the Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory Director.

If my parent, guardian, or relative is a Rutgers Employee am I eligible for a discount?
No. If your parent, guardian, or relative is a Rutgers Employee you are not eligible for a discount for the dance conservatory program.

Are there any discounts for Rutgers faculty or staff?
Yes.  There is a 10% discount.

What is the application deadline?

  • Session I: June 24, 2019
  • Session II: July 1, 2019
  • Late applications will be considered on a rolling basis.



Are airfare and other travel costs included in the tuition?
No, participants are responsible for their own transport costs.

Are recommendations for transport from area airports to campus available?
Yes.  Please click here for a listing of available area transportation.

Can you recommend area housing options?            



What time and where is drop off for commuters on the first Sunday of the Dance Conservatories?
12:30 p.m. at Bettenbender Plaza, Nicholas Music Center

What time and where is pick up for commuters on the first Sunday of the Dance Conservatories?
5:45 p.m.–6:30 p.m. at Bettenbender Plaza, Nicholas Music Center.

What time and where is drop off Monday – Friday during the conservatory?
8 a.m. at Bettenbender Plaza, Nicholas Music Center

What time and where is pick up Monday – Friday during the conservatory?

  • Monday–Thursday: 5:45 p.m. at Bettenbender Plaza, Nicholas Music Center
  • Friday: Bettenbender Plaza, Nicholas Music Center following the showing in the Victoria J. Mastrubuono Theatre.

My child wishes to drive to campus.  Is this allowed?

Is parking available?
Yes, a parking pass is available for $15 that allows for parking access during the week in lots 74 and 79.


What are your policies regarding social media?
Students may use social media during recreational times only. Faculty and staff are prohibited from interacting with students using social media during the conservatory. Social media used to bully or denigrate other participants will be dealt with under our bullying policy.

What are your policies regarding cell phone use?
Students may use cell phones in-between instructional sessions and during instructional sessions in the event of emergency only. Cell phones must be silenced during instructional sessions.

Student Behavior
The Extension Division reserves the right to dismiss any student for inappropriate behavior. Students are provided with clear guidelines for behavior during an orientation session at the start of each conservatory session. Refunds will not be provided to any students dismissed from the conservatory for inappropriate behavior. Examples of inappropriate behavior that may result in dismissal:

  • Bullying
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol or being in possession of alcohol
  • Use of illegal drugs, possession of illegal drugs or unapproved use of prescribed medication
  • Failure to obey Extension Division policies and procedures
  • Abusive behavior towards conservatory faculty and staff
  • Theft
  • Vandalism of university facilities or property

In most cases, students are informed of behavioral issues detected by conservatory faculty and/or staff and given the opportunity to modify their behavior while continuing in the conservatory. The Extension reserves the right to dismiss students without warning in cases of egregious breach of policies and/or procedures, or in cases where the safety/well-being of other campers is threatened. Parents of minors will be informed of any pending disciplinary action.

Participant waiver & photo release form
A participant waiver that includes a photo release form and a waiver of liability is included in the registration process.

Will my child be able to bring a laptop or other electronic device to the conservatory?
Personal computers may be used during free time. Students will be supplied with a password to connect to RU Wireless.

Is it possible for my child to leave campus during the week?
Yes, but only by special arrangement with the Extension Division director.


I have specific questions not addressed in this FAQ document.  Can I speak with someone?
Yes! Please e-mail us your name, phone number, the best time to reach you, and your question(s). In the subject line of your email, indicate the following your name, the name of the camp, and your question.

We will contact you with the answer to your question at the next available opportunity.

Call us at 848-932-1500.  Please note that the best way for us to put you in touch with someone who can answer your question is to email us first and let us then contact you via phone.