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The ISTD’s 2017 Summer School in Sportilia, Italy

The ISTD’s 2017 Summer School in Sportilia, Italy

27 November 2017

Another popular and successful Italian summer school

SUNÈ BURGER’S EXPERIENCE 

Can there be a better place in the world to express your passion and love for dancing, than between the vast mountain ranges and glorious sunsets that Italy has to offer? 

I am currently the only ISTD Ballet teacher in the country of Qatar, and as blessed as I am with the opportunity, as a dancer we all need to be stimulated to keep our creative minds active. I came across the international summer camp in Italy through the ISTD’s website. I knew that this is the one place that is the complete opposite from the desert life that I have become accustomed to. Luckily in this day and age everything is just a plane ride away.

Sportilia creates memories and introduces you to new friends around every corner

With the exceptional help of Carole Ann Watson, summer camp organiser, I arrived at Sportilia with a camera already full of pictures from the breathtaking scenery and a mind that is constantly trying to tell me that I am not dreaming, this is real. Sportilia’s sporting facilities are in between the mountain ranges of Northern Italy. Students were exposed to various styles of dancing such as tap, modern and street jazz, contemporary, ballet and even musical theatre and body conditioning classes. They also had the privilege to be taught by Gianluca Raponi (assisted by Simona Imola) who has his own dance company in Italy, and were taken on a new journey of contemporary dancing.

I am a changed teacher for the good and the experiences I had were priceless

Teachers had the privilege of exchanging teaching methods amongst themselves in various genres and also being taught by some of the most elite lecturers that the ISTD has to offer. When our notebooks were written full of ideas for the day, it was time to put our dancing shoes on and join in the fun, because you are never too old to dance. When it was time for the sun to set everyone joined together in the dining hall for dinner and shared their fun and laughter of the day amongst friends. 

We were also very fortunate to have Ginny Brown, the Artistic Director of ISTD, to join us for a few days at Sportilia. All teachers were updated with the latest news and views of the ISTD and many thoughts were exchanged on how to creatively expand and develop the ISTD outside the borders of the UK.

This is truly a summer school for everyone

Sportilia is the one place where the urge to switch on your phone is a thought that is far in the back of your mind. It creates memories and introduces you to new friends around every corner. As teachers we sometimes get so stuck in a rut that we just keep on doing the same thing over and over every day expecting a different result. Getting out of one’s comfort zone is easier said than done, but I can honestly say that after this summer school, I am a changed teacher for the good and the experiences I had were priceless. I am so excited to share these new methods and ideas with my own students. I thank everyone that shared their passion and knowledge of dance with me and to the ISTD for creating this astounding opportunity. This is truly a summer school for everyone. My next summer school awaits. 

Sunè Burger

Turn to pages 16–17 of the latest issue of DANCE magazine to see a selection of photos from Italian Summer School.

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