Regional Dance America presents the National Training Program

to provide dancers a unique opportunity to train with world class faculty in RDA’s signature trusted environment.

 

RDA’s National Training Program (NTP) is a two-week intensive featuring daily technique classes, repertory classes, and engaging workshops. Led by director Ashley Bouder, the NTP allows dancers to delve into all areas of their technique to learn, grow, and improve. The experience will culminate with a final performance.

Develop your technique with the National Training Program’s world class faculty in a focused and inspired environment. Experience the 2024 RDA National Training Program June 17 – 29 in Dayton, Ohio!

2024 National Training Program Dates

Arrival Day
Sunday, June 16, 2024
The National Training Program officially begins with dinner and a residence hall meeting in the evening.


Showcase Day
Saturday, June 29, 2024 — Showcase Performance
The Showcase Performance begins at 2:00pm. Family and friends are invited, and guest tickets may be purchased within your registration.


Departure Day
June 30, 2024
In order to accommodate everyone’s travel schedules, please arrange your departure travel in the morning or early afternoon.

Are you ready for an amazing experience?

Already accepted to the 2024 National Training Program?

Please click to expand any of the following tabs to learn more and get involved in this summer’s National Training Program!

Dancers

RDA’s National Training Program offers dancers from across the nation a unique opportunity to train with world class faculty in our signature trusted environment. Daily technique classes in such genres as ballet, pointe & variations, modern, jazz, hip hop, and ballroom will occur daily in addition to repertory class, and engaging workshops. The experience will culminate with a final performance.

 

Dancers must be at least 12 years of age and studying dance at an intermediate to advanced level.

RDA Associates
All RDA Dancers receive automatic acceptance to the National Training Program and may register at any time. RDA Dancers may apply for scholarship consideration through RDA’s Online Scholarship & Recruitment Process.

Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . $2000

 

Online Registration:

Registration site opens January 2, 2024
Registration site closes May 31, 2024
REGISTER ONLINE

Non-RDA Dancers
We have a brief online application for you to complete since you are not affiliated with Regional Dance America. Items needed for application include:

  • Personal information, contact information
  • Headshot and photo in first arabesque
  • Dance video reel link
  • OPTIONAL: letter of recommendation, resume/CV

The online application includes a non-refundable $35 application fee. A fee waiver program is available.
Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . . . . . $2200

 

Online Application & Registration:

Application portal opens December 15, 2023
Application portal closes May 1, 2024 (or when all spaces are filled)
APPLY TODAY

 

Registration site opens January 2, 2024
Registration site closes May 31, 2024
REGISTER ONLINE

Director

Ashley Bouder, Program Director
Ashley Bouder was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began her ballet training at the age of six at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary. After attending the School of American ballet for one summer session and the 1999/2000 school year, Ms. Bouder joined the New York City Ballet. She was promoted to principal dancer in 2005 and has remained with the company to present day.

 

Ms. Bouder has danced in ballet galas around the world and guest starred in companies including the Paris Opera Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, and the Mariinsky Ballet. She has been awarded Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise at the School of American Ballet as a student. As a professional her awards include the Janice Levin Honoree from the New York City Ballet, the Miss Expressivity for 2011 and the Miss Virtuosity for 2013 from the Dance Open Gala, the 2019 Benois de la Danse, and the Award for Artistic Excellence from the Borough of Manhattan Community College for her work in promoting gender equality in the ballet world.

 

As the founder and artistic director of the arts collaborative Ashley Bouder Project, Ms. Bouder works to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion in creative leadership roles within the dance world. Her previous choreographic work has been presented at the School of American Ballet Choreographic Workshop, the New York City Ballet, Peter Norton Symphony Space, Bryant Park Presents, and the Joyce Theater.

Faculty

A native of Indianapolis Indiana, Devin Baker began his dance journey with a community-based youth performance ensemble named Iibada. He’s studied with Milton Myers, Ana Marie Forsythe, and Baba Chuck Davis. He credits the start of his performance career to Dr. Elana D. Anderson, Kevin “Iega” Jeff and Gary Abbott with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. Devin has danced as a soloist for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). As a rehearsal director for DCDC, he has developed an interest towards sharing his performance experience through teaching. Devin has had the pleasure of teaching both internationally and nationally as a guest teaching artist at International Associations of Black in Dance (IABD), Shanghai Dance Stages, Ohio State University, Alabama State University, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy.

Debbie Blunden-Diggs became Artistic Director for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) in 2007. In 2019, she was named Chief Artistic & Producing Director. For over 20 years she performed with the company appearing in most of the company’s repertoire. Before becoming Artistic Director, she served as the company’s Associate Artistic Director, Deputy Director for Arts and Operations, and Resident Choreographer. In addition to her choreographic and artistic leadership, Ms. BlundenDiggs is the Executive Director of Jeraldyne’s School of the Dance, the cornerstone to Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and she works closely with DCDC’s pre-professional company, DCDC2. She has created works for the company, which have become part of the company’s artistic blueprint. Her notable works include Configurations, Kaleidoscope, Fragments, In My Father’s House and Traffic. Her first piece Variations in Blue, composed when she was seventeen, was submitted as an entry in the Young Choreographers Showcase and selected for inclusion in the National Choreographic Plan. She has contributed an impressive body of work including No Room, No Place, No Where for which she received a Monticello Award in 1982. In May 2002, she adjudicated the Regional Dance America Northeast Competitions. Ms. Blunden-Diggs was Co-Director/Choreographer for The Human Race Theatre’s production of Crowns, as well as Director/Choreographer for Central State University’s original production of In The Pursuit of Wind among others. She created ballets for and worked with students at University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, Central State University, South Dayton Dance Theatre, and Stivers School for the Arts. She served on the Board of Directors for The International Association of Blacks in Dance from 2000-2006. She has received numerous awards and accolades. Among them are honors from Regional Dance America, Monticello Choreographic Fellowships in 1979 and 1980, and two Individual Fellowship Awards from the Ohio Arts Council in 1981 and 1984. She received the Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service by Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) in recognition of 40 years serving the community through dance and dance education. The Fisk University Alumni Association honored her with an Excellence in Artistry Award, and she was awarded a Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District Master Fellowship for artistic excellence and community outreach initiatives in 2000. In 2014, she received the Image of Hope Youth Advocacy Award for her contributions to improve the lives of youth in the Greater Dayton area. Ms. Blunden-Diggs is an adjunct professor at University of Dayton in the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology Program, and serves on numerous boards: membership chair of the International Blacks in Dance Association (IABD), Secretary for the national Board of Trustees of Dance/USA since 2020, and the Seedling Foundation Board for Stivers School for the Arts.

Julius Eclypse Jenkins is a street style dance professional and has been engaged in the street dance world for 20yrs. His training has taken him across the world teaching and performing. While his primary focus is Robotic animation, he has a working knowledge of the most popular street dances of Hip-Hop, Breaking, Popping, Locking, House and Krump. Eclypse has performed with a variety of artists like Krs- One, Mr.Carmack, Lupe Fiasco, Herobust, Flux Pavilion and many others. He is the founder of Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy Cincinnati Ohio’s first Street Dance Academy program. He is also a teaching artist at the Cincinnati Ballet, Adjunct Instructor at The University of Cincinnati-CCM and provides street dance sessions at after school programs for Cincinnati Public Schools. Eclypse is passionate about street dance culture and always open to opportunities to share his passion with others.

Ashley Pabst is a native of Dayton, Ohio and graduate of Point Park University. Ms. Pabst has worked with many notable instructors and choreographers such as Darla Hoover, Margo Sappington, Christian Holder, Alan Hineline, Ron de Jesus, Doug Varone, Lynne Taylor-Corbett. While at Point Park University Ms. Pabst was chosen to perform at Kennedy Center, where she was awarded Northeast Performer of the Year. Ashley has appeared with both Atlanta Ballet and Dayton Ballet, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, Stephen Mills’ There Once Was a Time, Alan Hineline’s Thresholds, William Whitener’s Caprice, and Stuart Sebastian’s Dracula. In 2009, at Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival, Ashley received the Monticello Award for Best Emerging Choreographer and the Barbara Weisberger Choreographic Award for her work Aloft. In 2010 she received both the Project Tier Award and The National Choreographic Recognition Award for Sudden Impulse. Since then Ms. Pabst was granted eight additional National Choreographic Recognition Awards for her work throughout the Northeast and Pacific regions. Ashley has been commissioned to stage several new works by professional companies and conservatories such as Sacramento Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Stivers Dance Company (IABD Festival) Eisenhower Dance Detroit, Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet, Long Beach Ballet, GreeneWorks Project, Erie Contemporary Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Ballet Yuma, Dayton Dance Conservatory, Delaware Dance Company, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, Vineland Regional Dance Company, and Jazz Dance World Congress. In addition to her repertoire works, Ms. Pabst has choreographed and produced full length ballets such as Cinderella, Princess and the Pea, Snow White, and Ugly Duckling. Ashley’s professional teaching credits include International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, Regional Dance America Festivals (Northeast, Mid-States, and Pacific), adjunct faculty at Wright State University, Cinicinnati Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, NewDANCEfest, National Choreography Intensive, Dayton Arts Project, Delaware Dance Festival, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Dayton Dance Conservatory, and Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater.

Gabrielle Sharp, a native of Dayton, Ohio, began her classical ballet training at Dayton Ballet, which led her to the start of her professional dance career. The highlight of her time dancing at Dayton Ballet was earning the Josephine and Hermene Schwarz award, as well as working with faculty and guest choreographers, Dermot Burke, Gregory Robinson, Alan Hineline, Susie Payne, and Christopher Fleming. After dancing professionally for Dayton Ballet, she furthered her career and has been Co-Director of Dayton Ballet II for 8 years. In her transition from ballet dancer to co-director, she found a new passion for competitive ballroom dance. She is DaVida trained in American Smooth and currently competes in American Rhythm ballroom. She has had the opportunity to work with Tony Meredith, Sam Sodano, Kimberly Mitchell, and Mark Brock. In the past decade, Gabrielle has achieved national titles at United States Dance Championships, Ohio Star Ball, Cleveland DanceSport, and Michigan Dance Challenge.

Gina Walther is a dedicated teacher/mentor and award-winning choreographer who has choreographed works performed nationally, regionally and on university stages. As a professional dancer, Gina performed works by many of modern dances’ most influential choreographers, they include Dwight Rhoden, Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Merce Cunningham, Talley Beatty, Anna Sokolow, Donald Byrd, and many more. While performing with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), Gina toured Germany, Russia, France, and throughout the United States. She had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Joyce Theatre and was featured in the PBS special “Free to Dance”. She finished up her professional dance career by winning the Josie Award for Outstanding Female Concert Dancer. After retiring from performing Gina became a sought-after teacher/choreographer throughout the country. Her teaching experience includes Indiana University, Point Park University (PA), New Arts Festival (FL), Craft of Choreography Conference (UT & PA), DCDC, Dance On Tour (NM), Vineland Regional Ballet Company (NJ) RDA Pacific Festival (WA) RDA Mid-States Festival (IN & ILL) and RDA Northeast Festivals. Gina’s choreography has won several choreographic awards including the prestigious National Choreographic Award and the Project Tier Award. The New York Times called her work Still Present set on DCDC “a stirring dance” that “served as a sparkling introduction to the troupe”. Gina also had the pleasure of choreographing works for The Dayton Ballet and The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to over 20 original works at Wright State. Gina received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. She is an Associate Professor and 2017-2018 CELIA Fellow at Wright State University.

Nashville native Countess V. Winfrey currently serves as a performer, teaching artist, choreographer, and rehearsal director for The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She began her training at the age of 11 at Wharton Arts Magnet Middle school and continued her training at Nashville School of the Arts. She later attended the University of Memphis, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Health and Human Performance, and a minor in Dance. Post-graduation, Ms. Winfrey joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional ensemble, which then led into a professional dance career with DCDC. She has danced professionally with DCDC and has also danced one season with ClancyWorks Dance Company (Washington, D.C.). Countess has performed nationally and internationally in Bermuda, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. She has performed works by Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Dwight Rhoden, Ronald K. Brown, Abby Zbikowski, Dianne McIntyre, Donald Byrd and more. Additionally, she has taught and choreographed for DCDC, DCDC2, The Ohio State University, Miami University, The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Ohio University, Regional Dance Association and more. Her most recent commissions include the world premiere of her newest work “huMAN/NAture” for DCDC, including live musical accompaniment from the University of Dayton Jazz Ensemble; and the world premiere of “Homage: What was, Is, To Come”, commissioned by the Cincinnati Art Museum and Ohio Dance.  Ms. Winfrey is currently in her 8th season dancing with the professional company and her 10th year with the organization.

Tuition, Food & Housing

  Tuition Meals & Housing Total
    RDA Dancers $1,200 $800 $2,000
    Non-RDA Dancers $1,400 $800 $2,200

Tuition, food & housing amounts are due in 4 payments:

Registration Fee: Due at the time of registration ($65)
1st Installment: Due March 15, 2024
2nd Installment: Due April 15, 2024
3rd Installment: Due May 15, 2024

 

Additional Fees

  • Mandatory: A nonrefundable registration fee of $65 is due at the time of registration to officially reserve your spot in the NTP.
  • Optional: On the last day of the NTP, the dancers will take part in the showcase performance at 2:00pm. It is open to family, friends, teachers, and the public, and tickets are $10 per guest. Please include the number of guest tickets your party requires within your NTP online registration.
  • Optional: Ground transportation to and from Dayton International Airport is $60 ($30 one-way). This optional fee may be added on within your NTP online registration.
  • Optional: National Training Program T-Shirts are available for purchase ($25 each) within your NTP online registration.

Facilities

RDA is thrilled to present the National Training Program at Wright State University.

Wright State University

Wright State University’s Dayton Campus in Fairborn is located 8 miles and 15 minutes east of downtown Dayton. Wright State University annually serves more than 11,000 students and offers 315 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs through five colleges and two schools. The university also operates a branch campus, Wright State University–Lake Campus, on the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio. Wright State University was named to honor aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who invented the world’s first successful airplane in their Dayton bicycle shop. In fact, the Wright brothers conducted most of their early test flights at Huffman Prairie, just a short drive from the Dayton campus!

Creative Arts Center

The beautiful, newly renovated Creative Arts Center houses the Wright State University Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. The facility includes classroom and faculty spaces, two concert halls and two theaters that provide settings for plays and dance performances; concerts by the orchestra, chorus, and several instrumental groups; and other performances and exhibitions by visiting artists as well as students and faculty. The Creative Arts Center boasts a state-of-the-art playhouse presenting dramas, musicals, and dance concerts. It offers excellent sight lines and acoustics in an intimate atmosphere. The playhouse features a large main stage comparable to many Broadway and regional theatres, offstage wings and storage areas, and a hydraulically adjusted orchestra pit. The handicap-accessible auditorium seats 376 on the main floor and in the balcony.

The Woods: Dormitory Facilities

Wright State University’s The Woods is a group of fully furnished co-ed residence halls featuring dorms with suite-style bathrooms. Rooms in The Woods are each outfitted with a microwave, refrigerator, and air conditioning. The Woods is a short walk to the Creative Arts Center (dance facilities) and Student Union (meal facilities).

Policies, Contacts & Checklists

Dress Code

  • For ballet classes: Solid colored leotard and pink tights with pink ballet slippers or flesh tone tights with flesh tone ballet slippers (ballet slippers or pointe shoes must match the color of the dancer’s tights to elongate the leg line), OR fitted solid color t-shirt or leotard, black tights, and white or black ballet shoes and socks.
  • For modern and jazz classes:  Black tights, leggings, or dance shorts are recommended.
  • For hip-hop classes: dance sneakers are recommended but not required. Please be sure your shoes have clean soles to protect the studio floor.
  • For ballroom classes: character shoes are recommended but not required. Jazz shoes are an acceptable substitute for character shoes.
  • Ballet skirts are permitted at the discretion of the teacher; no leg warmers during class. Warmups and sweatpants will only be permitted in hip-hop classes.
  • Hair must be swept back and secured up from the face. Braids and locs are encouraged but should not exceed a length much lower than the shoulder. The thickness of the braids or locs should allow for a safe, secure, appropriately sized bun that does not move. Dancers with short hair must keep their hair neat, secure and away from the face.
  • Dance socks may be permissible at the discretion of the teacher or choreographer.
  • Modest personal jewelry is permitted as long it does not risk injury to the dancer.

Please bring options! While packing for the National Training Program, be sure to include ballet slippers, jazz shoes, pointe shoes, dance sneakers, and black socks along with an assortment of colored leotards, tights, skirts, etc.

 

 

Visiting During the Intensive
Family members and friends are welcome to visit with dancers during their daily midday break. If a dancer intends to leave campus with a family member or friend, a guardian must provide prior permission. Observer passes may also be purchased by family or friends for $50 per day to watch classes and attend meals with NTP attendees throughout the conference.

 

Final Showing

Saturday, July 1 – Showcase Performance at 2pm
The final day of the National Training Program includes a Showcase Performance beginning at 2:00pm. Family and friends are invited, and guest tickets may be purchased within your registration. You may add on as many guest tickets as necessary. NTP participants do not require tickets.
NTP participants are permitted to leave after the Showcase Performance by car with a legal guardian or other adult whom the legal guardian designates in writing to RDA.

Transportation

  • Arrival by Plane: Please make all airline reservations into the Dayton International Airport (DAY). Please note, if you are flying as an unaccompanied minor, you must notify RDA before you travel so we can plan for your arrival. All flights to the National Training Program should be booked to land at DAY before 2:00pm on Sunday, June 18th.
  • Departure by Plane: Please make all airline reservations out of the Dayton International Airport (DAY). Please note, if you are flying as an unaccompanied minor, you must notify RDA before you travel so we can plan for your departure. All flights from the National Training Program should be booked to depart from DAY before 2:00pm on Sunday, July 2nd.
  • Arrival by Car: Please arrive to the dormitory at Wright State University by mid-afternoon on Sunday, June 18th to check into your room and get settled before the NTP begins.
  • Departure by Car: Please plan to depart from the dormitory at Wright State University. NTP participants are permitted to leave after the Showcase Performance on Saturday, July 1st with a legal guardian or other adult whom the legal guardian designates in writing to RDA. Otherwise, all participants must check out of the dormitory by 12pm on Sunday, July 2nd.
  • Daily Travel: All NTP classes, meals, and dormitory facilities are within walking distance. Alternative walking paths will be provided in the case of inclement weather. RDA will provide any additional necessary transportation throughout the NTP.

Policies and Important Information for all National Training Program Participants

  • All NTP participants are expected to attend all assigned classes, rehearsals, and performances.
  • NTP participants should monitor their health for potential symptoms of Covid-19, Flu, or any other illness. If any symptoms are displayed, please do not travel to the NTP until you have been tested for Covid-19 or Flu. NTP participants are allowed to wear or not wear masks. Each individualʼs choice will be respected.
  • All NTP participants are expected to be well-behaved, courteous, and honest, and to abide by Federal, State, and Local laws and all rules outlined by Regional Dance America and Wright State University. Failure to do so will result in a loss of privileges, notification to guardians, and/or immediate dismissal with forfeiture of all fees. In addition, if any laws are broken, the appropriate authorities will be contacted.
  • The following are sufficient cause for dismissal from the National Training Program:
    • Unruly behavior
    • Disrespect for University property or personnel
    • Derogatory comments or gestures to anyone
    • Intimidation of others with violence or the threat of violence
    • Use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, firearms or fireworks
    • Tampering with fire alarms or other action that could affect the safety of others
    • Smoking or vaping
  • No chewing of gum is not permitted in any dance classes, rehearsals, or performances.
  • Burning of candles is not permitted in any rooms.
  • No participant may leave the dormitory, dining facilities, or NTP studios by themself and must always check in with Staff when seeking to move from one location to another.
  • Participants are not to touch the belongings of others without permission.
  • Participants are not to enter another participant’s room without permission.
  • Participants who cause excessive difficulties or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of themselves or others will be dismissed from the program immediately with forfeiture of all fees.
  • Any participant who is dismissed for misconduct shall be prohibited from attending all future NTP programs.

Emergency On-site Phone Number
Erika Davis, 603-260-3748

All photos by Gary Taylor Photography