First State Dance Members Attend Summer Camps

Pictured for left to right, Katie Mae Fields, Kelly Pearson, Ian Boyan, Abbie Gaunt, and Anna Edmondson pose inside their home studio at First State Academy of Dance.

By Michelle Parisi

Summer is a time when we think of dancing the night away. Students at First State Dance Academy in downtown Milford are doing just that this season. Some have chosen to travel, while some stay close to home. Both are taking their artistic training to new heights. The audition process for competitive summer dance programs began last winter, and several of our local youth were recognized as having the potential to excel.

Kelly Pearson, age 18 of Millsboro, will be attending the Rockettes Summer Intensive in NYC, before leaving to major in Dance at Shenandoah University. Abbie Gaunt, age 15 of Greenwood, is attending a 2 week training course at Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont. Ian Boyan, age 15 of Delmar, is studying with with San Francisco Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, before joining Pittsburgh for their year round pre professional training session. Anna Edmondson, age 14 of Milford, Is attending the Burklyn Ballet Theatre summer course for 2 weeks, and the summer session at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in D.C., where she was accepted to train in their year round program. Katie Mae Fields, age 13 of Seaford, and recent Diane Drulis Foundation scholarship award recipient, is attending a 3 week summer intensive at American Academy of Ballet in New York. All of these young people went through a rigorous audition to be accepted into these programs.

Many students opt to stay home, enjoying family, friends, the beaches, and summer jobs, but that doesn’t mean they stop dancing. The summer schedule at First State Academy of Dance offers something for everyone; of course the more serious ballet artists look forward to the August Intensive right here in Milford. The course which runs from August 6-23rd is open to advanced ballet dancers, and upper level intermediate dancers by invitation only. In addition to the highly qualified staff at FSAD guest teachers are brought in to help widen the students training. This year the guest teachers include James Ihde from Pennsylvania Ballet, Kimberly Dyer from North Carolina Dance Theatre, Justen Estelle from First State Ballet Theatre, and Val Goncharov from Russian Ballet Theatre. For information on the August Ballet Intensive at First State Academy of Dance please contact them directly at 422-2633, and visit their website at