Vision & Mission


Jaqlin Medlock Photography


It is the vision of the Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Program to offer a curriculum that celebrates diversity and envisions the global future of dance and dance education as one that can impact cultures and world issues. We believe that the beauty of the contemporary world of dance and the arts is that it is diverse. Therefore we celebrate the beautiful and diverse bodies, minds, cultures and artistic development of our young students. We also believe that collegiate dance prepares young people for living meaningful lives, developing creative community impact and for career options in and beyond the dance performance field.

The Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Program partners the resources of the Mason Gross Extension Division, the Dance Department and the EdM Dance Education Program and Graduate School of Education.  The summer dance program is one of the endeavors through which the EdM Dance Education Program articulates its vision to “sustain a community of artist-teacher-learners committed to developing the diverse, creative voices of children, adolescents, and young adults. At the foundation of this is a belief that young people have important artistic insights to contribute within a wide spectrum of dance artistry” (Dance Education Program, 2009).

Dance is mandated as core content learning on equal footing with math, science, ELA and social studies in New Jersey. Rutgers is a part of the advocacy effort to bring opportunities for dance learning to every child regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability or economic status as is their educational right.  Each year the Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Program aims to make the college dance experience accessible through multiple full- and partial- scholarships to students of merit as well as students from the partner schools who support our teaching interns.

Our community believes:

  • Diversity is beautiful. We welcome dancers of varying experience levels and we value dancers of every body size/shape, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
  • In a wide spectrum of dance artistry. There is not one “right” way to be an artist, one “best” style of dance or one dancer that is “better” than another. We aim to expose you to many possibilities and we welcome you to this artistic community as a dancer and choreographer.  
  • That every individual is in a different place in his/her learning journey as a young person and as artists and in the perfect phase for who they are in this moment. We believe that mistakes are one of the most important learning tools to bring to the studio and we applaud the courage that is a part of daily artistic learning.
  • That our accompanists, faculty and counselors are networks of experience and we encourage them to share and discuss the multiple roles they play as they artfully compose their professions (ex: student/learner, performer, teacher, mentor, somatic practitioner, composer, choreographer, artistic director, physical and arts therapies, etc.).  


The goal of the Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Program is to provide young people insight into collegiate dance study in a manner that is appropriate to their adolescent developmental needs. By providing artistic and educational conventions that mirror many aspects of our undergraduate BFA, BA and minor degrees in dance, students will be able to practice 21st Century skills as they gage their interest and progress toward collegiate dance study while developing proficiency in four core dance content areas as outlined in the National Core Arts Learning Standards for Dance and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Performing Arts – Dance:

  1. Technique and Performing
  2. Improvisation, Choreography, and Creating
  3. Responding to the Artistic Medium of Dance
  4. Personal, Cultural, Historical and Interdisciplinary Connections