June 12 – 19, 2022
Enroll for In-Person or Virtual
*One-day passes are currently only available as a virtual option. If space allows, one-day in person enrollment will be available starting June 1.
|BALLET+ 2022||$180.00 USD – $945.00 USD|
Ballet+ Miami is limited to intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10-21 only due to the requirements of the program. For the purposes of this workshop, ‘Intermediate/Advanced’ is roughly defined as a competition or conservatory student, having danced for at least one year in a competition studio as a company member with a minimum of 1-2 ballet classes per week and 10 hours total weekly of dance classes, or enrolled in a conservatory setting with at least six hours of ballet a week and a minimum of 10 hours of total weekly dance classes. What is most important is that dancers come with a strong desire to be challenged and grow.
In Person and Virtual Participation Options
- Full In-Person Option (8 days/60+ hours): Dancers who are planning to attend in-person are required to register for all eight days.
- Full Virtual Option (8 days/60+ hours)
- Daily Virtual Passes (1 day/8 hours): You may choose any day you’d like to attend, or more than one day.
If space is available within ten days of the start of the program, we will open up in-person day passes.
The Joan Myers Brown Equity Dance Scholarship Fund
A limited amount of scholarships are available for especially deserving dancers. Scholarships will be allocated according to the combined consideration of both merit and financial need. Decisions on scholarships will be made after the early deadline of February 15 and then again after the final deadline of April 30. Since a limited amount of scholarship awards will be offered, it is better to apply by the early deadline. Please click HERE to learn more about this opportunity and to apply.
Scholarship Application Deadlines
2/15 – Deadline for Summer Programs
4/30 – Late and Final Deadline for Summer Programs
60 Hours of Exceptional Training.
6 Stellar Faculty.
1 Unforgettable & Life-Changing Experience.
Ballet+ is an in-depth intensive leading students toward developing a strong technical foundation in ballet, modern, and jazz with a highly refined and authentic individual artistic voice.
We meet competitive and conservatory dancers where they are in their training journey. Our faculty travel through Ballet+ together with each individual student – honoring their uniqueness, encouraging growth, and challenging to realize their potential.
Frequently called a ‘breath of fresh air’ by students, parents, teachers, and directors alike, every one of Francisco Gella’s programs delivers on a central commitment: To transform hardworking young adults into remarkable young artists regardless of body type or background, and instilling a belief in them that anything is possible with hard work, a sense of purpose, and a willingness to take risks.
About ballet+ (Beyond Technique)
Highly-acclaimed choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella has introduced his revolutionary philosophy and approach to thousands of dancers around the world through intensives, masterclasses, and individual instruction. For seven years since the introduction of our program in Miami, young dancers have had the opportunity to spend eight days with Francisco and his team through this innovative program called Ballet+ (beyond technique).
Ballet+ is much more than an intensive. It’s a powerful idea and a transformative experience. The program is based on his extensive twenty-five-year dance career and his background in gymnastics coaching. With an integrated teaching approach, he incorporates spirituality, psychology, physiology, and kinesthetic awareness – all toward developing dancers into holistic and versatile performers and, most importantly, human beings. The results are astounding.
Our carefully designed curriculum accelerates the learning of children, youth, and pre-professionals and assists them in being fully prepared and motivated for a successful summer of dance experiences – whether going to an intensive, a national competition, or staying at your home studio to train in preparation for a college dance program or professional audition.
With the guidance and knowledge of expert faculty mentors each with years of experience dedicated to education, training, performance, and choreography, young dancers quickly become more aware of their own body and the mind’s connection to it. Regardless of how long they’ve been dancing, participants grow more than they likely ever believed they could, and get closer to realizing their full potential.
Ballet+ takes student dancers beyond technique to explore their limits as an artist, athlete, and a technician.
To help you prepare for the experience, here is a downloadable PDF of a previous year’s schedule as an example of what you can expect this year until we update the schedule closer to the program launch.
June 12-19 (estimated daily schedule)
Sunday, June 12: 8am – 6pm
Monday, June 13 – Wednesday, June 16: 9am – 6pm
Thursday, June 16: 9am – 1pm
Friday, June 17 – Saturday, June 19: 9am – 6pm
Sunday, June 19: 8am – 3pm
CLASS SIZE: Every class will have a teaching assistant and up to 50 dancers will be admitted into each class. Classes will be based on age group although faculty reserve the right to move a student to a different class if it is obvious they will benefit from the change.
Teaching Artists & Mentors
Founding Artistic Director & Core Faculty
Francisco Gella’s distinguished twenty-five career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely-recognized dance educator began when he took his first formal dance class at the University of Washington at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools, conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe.
Francisco’s choreographic commissions include Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet Pacifica, California Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut-Up and Dance Production, PHILADANCO’s Danco on Danco program, Laguna Dance Festival, Tucson Regional Ballet, University of Utah Ballet Ensemble, University of Washington Faculty Concert, Irvine Valley College, Ballet East, DANCO/II, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Orange County School for the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. His commission ‘Between the Lines’, set on PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company), premiered at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and was selected by PHILADANCO’S Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown as the company’s sole performance at the opening to the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Among the recognition he has received includes numerous choreography awards at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition including Outstanding Choreographer, and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the National Regional Dance America Conference in 2007. In 2013, Francisco premiered ‘Concentric Harmonies’ at Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles, a work that went on to receive the Grand Prize at the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, his work ‘Solstice’, performed by the Phoenix Ballet had its world premier at the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Beijing Dance Academy and its European premiere at Poland’s prestigious Lodz International Ballet Festival. In May 2016, his work ‘Souvenirs de Mouvement’ was selected as a featured performance at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing & Visual Arts’ annual ‘Flying Horse Gala’. In 2018, Francisco’s work performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was selected for the gala performance at the National High School Dance Festival. Most recently, Francisco was invited to return as resident artist at the International Dance Festival Palm Springs in 2020 where he has again been commissioned to premiere a new work. And coming up in 2020 he has been invited to create new works for Ballet Idaho and Brigham Young University.
Francisco is the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As founding Chief Creative Officer of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous educational programs; Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the Ballet Company Intensive, the New Century Dance Project (a youth dance festival), the College Prep program, and Dance 360 – an online educational community that provides ongoing knowledge and support for students, parents, and teachers. Additionally, Francisco is the lead ballet and modern faculty member for the 24 Seven Dance Convention and founding director of ARIA Ballet Intensive produced by Break The Floor. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Francisco now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Yusha Marie Sorzano
Founding Associate Director & Core Faculty
Yusha Marie Sorzano, Associate Director for Community Engagement at Francisco Gella Dance Works and originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, received her primary instruction from New World School of the Arts, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and The Dance Theater of Harlem. In her senior year she received an award for outstanding choreography from New World School of the Arts, as well as an award in dance from the National YoungArts Foundation. She went on to attend the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and in her junior year was invited to join Ailey II. Ms. Sorzano has been a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, BODYTRAFFIC, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She has also performed as a guest artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Ms. Sorzano has performed in principal roles with the Ailey company and in a wide variety of concert works, including works by noted choreographers Ulysses Dove, Maurice Béjart, Hofesh Shechter, Kyle Abraham, and Mauro Bigonzetti. Additionally, she has performed alongside recording artists Wynton Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Rihanna. Her theater, television, and film credits include being a guest artist on “Dancing with the Stars,” principal dancer in Chicago’s acclaimed Goodman Theater’s “Crowns,” and principal dancer in the independent film “You, Me & The Circus”.
Deeply passionate about the powerful role that educators play in the lives of young artists, Ms. Sorzano enjoys teaching both nationally and internationally. From Trinidad to the United States and beyond, Ms. Sorzano has had the pleasure of teaching at esteemed educational institutions and festivals around the world, including the Ailey School, Lines Ballet/Dominican Universities BFA Program, TU Dance, Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, New World School of the Arts, The Windward School, Brasil’s Mostra Danca, and Italy’s Danzainfiera. Ms. Sorzano currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Schools Dallas summer intensive and as an Associate Director for Program Development with Francisco Gella Dance Works.
Jeffrey Smith is a Miami based choreographer, multimedia artist, and dance educator. He received his BFA from The Boston Conservatory and his MFA from Florida State University focusing on emerging collaborative relationships between dance and multimedia technology. In 2002 Jeffrey became a member of The Martha Graham Ensemble, touring domestically and performing classic Graham works such as Diversion of Angels, Acts of Light and El Penitente as well as teaching extensively throughout New York City’s five boroughs. In 2005 he became a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company touring internationally and performing in over 40 of Mr. Taylor’s masterworks.
Jeffrey’s multimedia pieces, choreographic works, and films have been seen at various festivals and events. Most recently he’s made works for The Peter London Global Dance Company and Tulane’s Newcomb Dance Company in New Orleans where he also designed interactive projections for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Jeffrey is currently on the faculty at New World School of the Arts.
After taking her first class over 18 years ago, Gretchen instantly became hooked on the body, mind, and spirit connection of the Pilates Method. In 2008, she obtained her first certification in Mat Pilates under Teri Steele through Dance New Amsterdam in NYC. Gretchen went on to continue her education and received her Comprehensive Certification on all Pilates Apparatus through Polestar Pilates in Miami in 2010. Gretchen eventually had the opportunity to come back as an Instructor, shortly after she also became a Mentor to students going through the Comprehensive Series and then an Educator with Polestar Pilates. Gretchen has taken Advanced Teacher Training courses in Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Woman’s Health (including pre/post natal), Pilates for the Dancer, Pilates for Rotational Sports, and Pilates for Hip and Knee Replacements. Gretchen also holds a certificate for Pilates for MS™ & Neurological Conditions taught by Mariska Breland and has hosted Mariska at BREATHE twice to sold out courses of the same name. Gretchen has also completed level I, level II, and level III trainings for the CoreAlign® by Balanced Body, she is both certified by and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance. Most recently, Gretchen completed one of her most inspiring trainings to date, The Kathy Grant Heritage Training® (Kathy Grant was an original student of Joseph Pilates) led by renowned teacher and student of Kathy Grant, Cara Reeser.
Having had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of clients, including Cirque du Soleil performers and octogenarians, Gretchen enjoys assessing her client’s abilities and then helping them achieve their goals, and expectations. She finds great reward and pleasure in being able to guide them through their Pilates practice and help them get in touch with their bodies and minds through the teachings of Joseph Pilates. Having a Bachelor’s degree and background in Fine Art, Gretchen always is looking for creative ways to facilitate movement and to design fun and interesting classes.
For the second year in a row of Ballet+, selected members of Francisco and Yusha’s professional company will join our team as teachers, mentors, and teaching assistants. Soon we will announce who will be joining us from Zeitgeist Dance Theater!
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center provides a world-class, multi-disciplinary cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. The Center plays a key role in the economic and cultural development of the area and opened on October 1, 2011. In addition to providing a diverse range of quality entertainment to people from all backgrounds and ages, the Center’s mission includes an emphasis on educational and outreach activities in partnership with community groups. The Center’s multiple rehearsal and performing spaces also offers accessible state-of-the-art facilities to the Miami-Dade artistic community, presenters, and audiences throughout South Florida.
SMDCAC is located at 10950 SW 211th St., Miami, FL 33189.
Housing and Chaperone Service
The Ballet+ team has secured a limited block of discounted rooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Homestead Florida City for those traveling from out of town. The discounted rate is $109 per night plus taxes.
This rate is available with check-in on Saturday, June 11th through check-out on Sunday, June 19th.
Ballet+ Room Block
Start Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022
End Date: Sunday, June 19, 2022
Last Day to Book: Monday, May 16, 2022
Note that the hotel is about 20 minutes from the studios. For dancers 14 and older who are coming without a parent, Ballet+ offers a chaperone program which includes transportation to and from the hotel/studios as well as staff supervision. The cost for this service is $195 for the duration of Ballet+. For more information and to express interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up to forty-five (45) days prior to the start of the program. An exception will be made for documented medical or health reasons due to an unforeseen injury or illness. For dancers with an injury or illness, 100% of the tuition will be refunded up to thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program. If the illness or injury is reported to the program director under thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program, a 50% refund will be issued no more than five (5) business days after the completion of the program, and the other 50% may be used as a credit for another program in the next twelve (12) months that is produced and owned by Francisco Gella Dance Works. In the case of any injury or illness, a documented note or letter from a licensed physician must be submitted before a refund will be considered.
The Ballet+ team plans to hold the 2022 program in person with an accompanying virtual participation option. We are fully contracted to hold Ballet+ onsite at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) and have an approved COVID Safety Plan which will be adapted as necessary based on pandemic conditions, facility rules and protocols, and the guidance of the CDC and County requirements.
Given that vaccination rates continue to climb and treatments are widely available, we are confident that Ballet+ will be held in person. However, given the fluid nature of the pandemic, we reserve the right to move it to an online platform during the same dates – Sunday, June 12 – Sunday, June 19 if necessary. We will only do this if we are left without choice due to restrictions from the state of Florida, Miami Dade County, or the SMDCAC.
We strongly encourage all participating dancers to be fully vaccinated by the start of Ballet+. All participants and faculty will be required to be fully vaccinated (as defined by the CDC at the time of the program in June) or if you are unable to be vaccinated, to get tested at your own expense less than 48 hours before the start of the program. Depending on guidance from the CDC in June, unvaccinated dancers will need to be tested throughout the week.
Under any circumstances, Ballet+ will not be postponed or canceled. If necessary, the full program will be held in a virtual format. Those who have registered for in-person participation will be refunded the difference between the in-person rate and the virtual rate. No further refunds will be issued.
Feel free to contact us in the chatbox below or email us if you have any questions.