A lot of artistic expression can be packed into three months. For any student looking for creative ways to spend their summer vacation, Colorado offers a wealth of options. Whether it’s discovering a love of the stage in a theater or dance camp or taking a spin at gymnastics, students can find their muse, along with friends, confidence and inspiration, at these local summer camps.

Airborne Gymnastics
With locations in Longmont and Frederick, Airborne Gymnastics offers students of all ages a gateway into the creativity of physical movement and expression. With a diverse program that includes beginner, recreational and competitive gymnastic classes, as well as dance classes and studios, Airborne is an access point for budding gymnasts and performers of all levels. Their summer camp options are a perfect entry for aspiring gymnasts, dancers and tumblers. airbornegym.com

Dance Dimensions
The teaching philosophy at the Dance Dimensions studio in Longmont is all about giving every student the resources, attention and encouragement to reach their best potential. Whether it’s leading 5-year-olds through their first steps on a dance floor or training teen dancers to tackle professional challenges during their summer intensives, Dance Dimensions is all about sparking a love for the art and craft of dance. dancedimensions.net

Longmont Theatre Company
The Longmont Theatre Company’s summer program is designed to foster and encourage a passion for the stage in its students. With classes designed for aspiring performers from the kindergarten level to high school, the LTC’s New Generation Theatre Academy summer program is all about connecting kids with practical and useful stage experience. The summer camps culminate in an onstage performance at the LTC’s historic home in downtown Longmont, and the 2020 program includes youth interpretations of “Into the Woods,” “Doctor Dolittle” and other classic narratives. longmonttheatre.org

Center Stage Theatre Company
The Center Stage Theatre Company’s summer program stresses a hands-on approach to theater education for young performers. The Louisville-based troupe stages a wide array of professional programming during the year, and they mirror that diversity for their summer camps. Young performers from fifth to ninth grade have the opportunity to audition for roles in professional productions and work during the summer to stage a high-quality piece of theater. centerstagetheatrecompany.org

The Boulder Ballet
The Boulder Ballet offers resources for students of all levels looking to sharpen their skills during the course of the summer. From intro level classes designed to give students the foundational skills of a classical ballet dancer to summer intensives geared toward taking accomplished performers to the next level, the Boulder Ballet’s summer series is all about expanding students’ skills. boulderballet.org

Frequent Flyers
Frequent Flyers’ summer courses offer a curriculum rooted in aerial-based routines. This is an ideal choice for students who want to put a different spin on traditional gymnastics skills. The school offers classes geared toward students aged 5 to 7 (their Lil Flyers courses), as well as classes for older students aged 8 to 11 and courses designed specifically for teenagers, all with a similar stress on trapeze, hoop and other work designed to get students in the air. frequentflyers.org

The Peanut Butter Players’
The Peanut Butter Players’ theater summer camp seeks to instill the joy of creativity, imagination, music and stagecraft. The weeklong program gives young aspiring actors and playwrights age 6 to 16 the chance to create their own characters, craft their own narratives and bring action to life onstage at the troupe’s facility in Lafayette. This troupe is all about having fun, and the organization’s experienced staff is dedicated to connecting students with the opportunity to thrive onstage. peanutbutterplayers.com

The Spark Performing Arts
The Spark Performing Arts troupe in Boulder emphasizes community in its approach to instruction. With a summer series of classes that stresses top-notch training, customized classes, Broadway connections and personal attention, the Spark faculty seeks to connect students with like-minded peers and mentors who can both encourage and inspire. Along with intensive series that see students working on a professional musical, this personal touch is ideal for a student looking to forge real connections. thesparkcreates.org

The Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids
The Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids has a dual mission for its students: to inspire them in their creative process while raising their performance standards to achieve theatrical excellence. This mission comes through in the school’s yearlong programming as well as its summer intensive classes, which focus on work, shopping and performing a full-length feature production. With campuses in Denver and Boulder, the RMTK aims to serve a broad range of skill levels and interests. theaterforkids.net

CU Presents
One of Boulder County’s most respected cultural institutions also offers an educational option for aspiring young performers. Every summer, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and CU Presents welcomes students ages 6 to 18 to CU Boulder’s campus to study Shakespeare in a professional setting. Working directly with the actors and crew members who bring the material to life every summer, students gain an in-depth, immersive view of the artistic legacy of one the Western world’s greatest literary and dramatic minds. cupresents.org

By Adam Goldstein
for Raised in the Rockies