Ballet+

(Beyond Technique)

June 11-17, 2023
Miami, Florida


7 Days.
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, conservatory, and collegiate 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.

We return to Miami on June 11-17, 2023!

To learn about the intensive, you can review last year’s information below. Registration for Summer 2023 will go live by November 1. Join our interest list to receive an alert.

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Eligibility

Ballet+ Miami is limited to intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10-22 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.

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 a few weeks after each deadline. Since a limited amount of scholarship awards will be offered, it is better to apply by the early deadline. Please click below to learn more about this opportunity and to apply.

Scholarship Application Deadlines

2/1

Deadline for Summer Programs

5/1

Late and Final Deadline for Summer Programs

About Ballet+ (Beyond Technique)

Highly-acclaimed choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella has introduced his revolutionary philosophy and approach to dance training 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 thirty-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.

Highly-acclaimed choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella has introduced his revolutionary philosophy and approach to dance training 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 thirty-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.

Schedule

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 11-17 (estimated daily schedule)

6/11

Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/12

Monday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/13

Tuesday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/14

Wednesday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/15

Thursday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/16

Friday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

6/17

Saturday:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

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

Francisco Gella (he/him)

Founding Artistic Director & Core Faculty
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv, Choreographer

Francisco Gella’s distinguished thirty-year career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely recognized dance educator, began when he took his first formal dance class during his freshman year at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools, ballet conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe.  

In addition to a successful performance and choreographic career, Francisco is a renowned educator, artistic director, and arts entrepreneur. He is the founding co-artistic director of Zeitgeist Dance Theatre launched in January of 2020. He is also the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As Chief Creative Officer of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous influential educational programs; Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the New Century Dance Project (a festival for choreography and performance) and the College Dance and Career Prep program. Additionally, Francisco is the lead ballet and modern faculty member, and adjudicator for the 24 Seven Dance Convention.


Yusha-Marie Sorzano (she/her)

Founding Co-Artistic Director and Core Faculty Member
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary

Francisco Gella (he/him)

Founding Artistic Director & Core Faculty

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv, Choreographer

Yusha-Marie Sorzano is an Afro-Caribbean immigrant hailing from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She is a relentless, dynamic performing artist, choreographer, director, and educator who has worked in concert dance, theater, opera, television, and film. Ms. Sorzano is an alumna of Armour Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and New World School of the Arts, and she is a Winner in Dance from YoungArts. She graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, and in her junior year she joined Ailey II on invitation. 

To date, Ms. Sorzano has performed in 8 renowned dance companies, including Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, TU Dance, Morphoses, BODYTRAFFIC, and LA Dance Project. She is currently a member of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, having been an original cast member of both the Bessie-nominated Black Girl: Linguistic Play, and Ink, the 2nd and 3rd installments of Brown’s acclaimed trilogy. Ms. Sorzano is currently co-leading and choreographing a new musical titled We Won’t Sleep, and she is special faculty and a mentor at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the School of Dance. She will rejoin CalArts in Fall 2022 as Director of the BFA Program in the School of Dance.


Jeffrey Smith (he/him)

Teaching Artist


Modern, Contemporary, Partnering

Jeffrey Lloyd Smith is currently an Assistant Professor at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and teaches modern, contemporary, and filmmaking for dance. In addition to choreographing, he stages works by Paul Taylor and serves as rehearsal director for artists like Ohad Naharin, Mark Morris, and Darshan Singh Bhuller. Prior to his current position, Jeffrey was an Assistant Professor at Tulane University and holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and an MFA from Florida State University. Highlights from his performing career include The Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Martha Graham Ensemble, and Taylor 2.


Justin Prescott

Justin Prescott (he/him)

Teaching Artist
Jazz and Musical Theatre

Francisco Gella (he/him)

Founding Artistic Director & Core Faculty

Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv, Choreographer

Justin Prescott is a NYC based performer, choreographer, and educator. He began his formal dance training at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, TX. He then went on to train at Ballet Austin, The Ailey School, and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. He received his BFA in dance from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance (Cum Laude) where he performed works by Sidra Bell, Paul Taylor, Doug Varone, and George Balanchine. During his college years, he also studied at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan while working as a soloist for Taipei Royal Ballet.


Gretchen Wagoner (she/her)

Teaching Artist
Pilates

After taking her first class over 20 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.  She then went on to continue her education and received her Comprehensive Certification on all Pilates Apparatus through Polestar Pilates in Miami in 2010 and eventually became 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, as well as Pilates for MS™ & Neurological Conditions.

More faculty to be announced soon…

More faculty to be announced soon…

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 Theatre!

Program Location

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 offer 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

Lodging & 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. A link to book your rooms will be available by January 1.


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+. Email us for more information and to express interest.

About Miami, Florida

From the sizzling nightlife of South Beach to the authentic Cuban flavors of Little Havana, Miami offers one of the richest cultural experiences of any city in the United States. Its diverse neighborhoods house everything from world-famous street art to world-class restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, and cultural venues. Miami's colorful history is matched only by the vibrancy and verve of the modern global city it's continually blossoming into today.

Miami has attracted the world's most daring and creative minds since its evolution from native Tequesta lands to the promising new frontier of railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in the late 1800s. A developing father of Florida, Flagler expanded his Florida East Coast Railway to Miami in 1896 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Miami is a destination for lovers of art, design, food, shopping, and even the great outdoors. Read on for Travel + Leisure's ultimate guide to the Magic City, covering everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip.

(Taken from 'Travel+Leisure' magazine, March 2, 2021)

Cancellation / Refund Policy

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.

COVID Policy

The Ballet+ team plans to hold the 2023 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 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 11  – Saturday, June 17 - 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.


Ballet+ will not be postponed or canceled under any circumstances. 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.