Dance Summer Dance. August 14-26, 2016       2015 DSD Camper Kit_web

If you seriously love to dance, you’ll have the time of your life!

If you are a member of the Canadian Forces, a member of Ross Creek or Two Planks, or have more than one child coming, or coming for multiple camps, you can still save 25% off fees! (only valid if you pay when you book). With great programs from Jungle Jamboree to Urban Art, from a writer’s workshop to triple threats, from animation and graphic design to Dance Summer Dance, don’t lose out next summer and don’t spend more than you have to!
Register online here for SummerArts.

Why dance at Ross Creek? 

“This  summer camp brought about the most significant growth I have ever seen in a group of dancers over the course of the two week period.  I think this is a result of a supportive atmosphere encouraging exploration and risk-taking, relaxing and fun surroundings to balance the intensity of the dance schedule, positive and cooperative faculty who are equally accomplished as they are enthusiastic about dance and pedagogy.”

– Belinda McGuire, Modern Dance teacher, DSD 2013, 2014, 2015. 

letter from dancer

letter from dancer

letter from dancerDance Summer Dance runs from August 14-26, 2016. Students arrive on Sunday, attend a placement class,  and settle into their cabins. Over the two weeks, they take a full class program, audition for rep classes, eat delicious, healthy food in our beautiful dining hall and enjoy camp rec programs during the evenings. On the weekend, they do a full day of site specific creation on the grounds of Ross Creek with theatre and movement professionals, and take a trip to a beautiful local beach. On the final Friday, parents and friends are welcomed to a public performance by the students.

Only 46 students in 3 levels, small class sizes and attentive, supportive and demanding teachers mean an amazing dance experience combining education in modern and ballet in a beautiful, non-competitive setting.

The late summer dates allow for older dancers to have a summer job and come to DSD before heading back to school, and also allows the dancers a chance to get in shape before the start of the fall term if they haven’t been dancing as much during the summer. It also means that those who dance most intensively can take other programs earlier in the summer and still attend DSD.

NEW Dance Assistant Program (DAP) for ages 12-16

We know that dancers in all kinds of communities need support, and we want to support dance schools to be the best they can be for the next generation. Ross Creek has created a new DanceTeaching assistant certificate program to ensure young dancers who are assisting classes are able to bring new knowledge back to their schools and ensure the highest quality of positive corrections, choreography and mentorship.

Students in the DAP  will go through levels, attend most of the DSD programs themselves, and receive additional  classes in how to work with children, how to make corrections, how to choreograph on children, and morello ensure you are the best mentors in dance you can be! This program is designed  for dance students and for those considering a dance teaching career, and is a great stepping stone into one of the dance teacher programs.

Best yet, if you go to a dance school and there are kids coming from your school, you get 20% off the program! At the end, teach a model class and get feedback from our instructors!

You can register on our main registration form, under the DSD week.

Admission Policy

While Dance Summer Dance is restricted to students who have achieved a certain level of technical understanding, we do not refuse admission on the basis of body type or professional career potential. Students are admitted based upon the recommendation of their teachers on the basis of attitude, work ethic and their ability to handle the material at their given level. We also offer other programs for dancers who are not yet ready for the rigour of DSD.

Teacher Evaluation Form
We do ask that your dance teacher send us an evaluation directly. This does not restrict you from admission, but helps us prepare for your program. Click here to download the evaluation form.

Dance Summer Dance at the Ross Creek Centre

We are excited to welcome you to the most advanced summer dance training program in Atlantic Canada. With instructors from the National Ballet School, School of Toronto Dance Theatre and from the world of professional dance, we invite young dancers to push themselves and develop their skills, to learn about professional dance and to create magic through movement, all at a dance retreat at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, close to Canning, Nova Scotia.

In our professional studios, classes are small enough to include individual coaching and create rehearsal environments with exciting ballet and modern choreography by our internationally acclaimed faculty, often with live accompaniment. After class, we encourage recreation and relaxation on our 178-acre property, with rustic cabins, walking trails, games rooms and beach trips.

Supported by the Ross Creek camp staff, with fresh local food, highly trained counsellors and camp leadership with over 15 years of experience, Dance Summer Dance at Ross Creek augments a dancer’s ongoing training, giving him or her an intense program in ballet and modern dance along with body conditioning, and stretch and strength. For those who want to go on in dance, we also have guidance on professional training and careers. This intense and inspiring mix of dance and camp creates life-changing experiences for young dancers. We are committed to the study of dance as part of a healthy, full life for all. We are equally committed to the development of dance professionals, and DSD serves both kinds of students well. Former students have gone on to study in all fields, including professional dance training schools such as Toronto Dance Theatre and Julliard, and to have careers with Parsons Dance, Bern Ballet, MOCEAN Dance, and many other professional companies.

Tell me more about DSD!

Visits: Family and friends are welcome to visit Ross Creek. However, while camp is in session, visitors are normally asked to only come for a tour, to visit the gallery, etc. Visits can be disruptive to the students’ experience on many levels, including disruption of classes, meal times and social time at camp.

Weekend and beach trip: Dancers will work on the site-specific work on Saturday, to be performed during the final presentation and take Sunday as the beach trip, or reversed, depending on the forecast. They also now attend the Annapolis Royal Festival of Dance on Saturday Evening and take in some of Canada’s finest contemporary dancers.

Phones/Internet devices: Studies of other teen camps along with our own experiences have shown that phones are disruptive to a student’s artistic and social development at camp/summer school. Camp is a place where time is slowed down to a walking pace, even while in class they are leaping! The program is intense, and we want the dancers to be thinking about and living in it, not removed. DSD is a place for personal development, interacting with cabin mates, and enjoying natural surroundings. We encourage writing and will supply postcards, etc., and we also encourage family and friends to send care packages (peanut free, please).

We ask that the kids not bring their phones unless they are also their music player and cameras, in which case we ask you to keep the sim card at home. Of course, in any case at all of emergency, either at home or Ross Creek, we will make sure you get to speak with your child immediately! Otherwise we hold the sim card until they are heading home.

We hope that you are excited about the potential of the program to be even more amazing! We want you to feel welcome and supported as families and to know that we are keen to help your child reach his or her potential through dance and through DSD, whatever their final path!

COST: $1100 plus HST.  Includes accommodation and food.

Register now for 2016

2015 Faculty (check for updates) 

Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson (Modern): Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson is originally from Nova Scotia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The North Carolina School of the Arts under the Anthony Bliss Scholarship. Ms. Jackson’s professional career took place in New York where she danced for The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, New York City Opera, Cortez and Company, Patricia Kenny Dance Collection, Robert Battle and most extensively with the Parsons Dance Company. While dancing with Parsons, Ruth-Ellen performed signature works including the solo Caught. Ruth-Ellen is an independent choreographer whose work can be seen in Canada and the U.S.A. on, Ballet Jorgen Canada, the Performance Project,Verve Mwendo, Kinetic Studio’s Main-stage, the Young Company of Halifax Dance, Coastal Dance Theatre, and The Maritime Performance Group. Ms. Jackson is currently working with Mocean Dance and has enjoyed  performing with Verve Mwendo, Veronique MacKenzie, Lisa Phinney and Henry Jackson. Thank you, to my family for making all my endeavors possible.

Robert McCollum (Ballet Bob) Each summer Robert arrives in Nova Scotia  armed with the very latest in effective safe training practices taught by Irene Dowd, one of the world’s foremost authorities in dance kinesiology. Robert trained at the American Ballet Center, the School of the Joffrey Ballet and with the renowned Maggie Black, Peggy Baker and Louis Falco in New York. He danced professionally in both the United States and Canada. He is on the faculty of the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program.  Robert has choreographed for musical specials, opera and live theatre, most recently with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre. Robert has gained international renown as a teacher and has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including a full page spread in the Globe and Mail and the popular U.S.magazine, Dance Teacher. Robert believes that dance training begins with awakening the dancer within; that a passion for hard work is sprung from a passion for the dance and that every individual can achieve their personal best.  Students leave his classes feeling better about themselves and their dancing.

Belinda McGuire (Modern):  (dancer, director, choreographer, teacher), originally from Toronto, graduated from The Juilliard School (BFA 2006).  Through Belinda McGuire Dance Projects, she performs primarily solo work, choreographs and engages in collaboration and production. McGuire was an Artiste en Passant at The International Choreographic Arts Centre Amsterdam in 2010, a recipient of the 2008 Bessie Schönberg Residency at the Yard, and was recognized by the 2007 Susan Braun Award of The Dance Films Association. Her choreography has been presented at the Festival de la Ciudad 2009 (Merida, Yucatan Mexico), the Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa), in Toronto and in New York City on the stages of the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and Alice Tully Hall, Joyce Soho as well as in DUMBO, Brooklyn.  A current member of The José Limón Dance Company, she has danced with Gallim Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Ofelia Lorette de Mola’s DANSCORES, the DOORKNOB Company and The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. She teaches and choreographs as a guest artist in New York City for The Limón Institute, The Juilliard School Summer Program, and Dance New Amsterdam, for the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, CCDT in Toronto and for various other schools and universities across North America.  As a producer, Belinda launched her one-woman show The Desert Island Project in New York City and Toronto (autumn, 2008) and The Heist Project in NYC (December 2011). She also creates as a costume, light and set designer.

Andrew Dahms (Percussion Accompanist):  Andrew Dahms is a percussionist who has been performing and educating for years throughout Maritimes. His early drumming included studying African Drumming under Master Drummer Kwasyi Dunyo from Ghana and the founder of Samba Nova Mattieu Keijser. Andrew also studied at the St Francis Xavier Music program and completed two years at the NSCC Music Business/Music Arts program. His interests range widely and has been involved a variety of music projects. Andrew’s passion for drumming and music is apparent in everything he does.

Emily Shute (Piano Accompanist): Emily Shute is a musician from Halifax. She studied theatre performance and classical piano at Dalhousie University. For the past eight years she has worked as an accompanist at Halifax Dance. Last summer, Emily was assistant musical director for The Miracle Man and learned to play the banjo for Dustbowl Joan here at The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. Emily had a fabulous time working with the amazing Ballet Bob last summer at DSD and is delighted to return again this summer!

Check back for updates


  • Admission is restricted to dance students age twelve to eighteen except by special permission. Students must have turned eleven by July 31 of the attending year and not turn nineteen until after August 20 of the same year.
    Preference will be given to kids 13 –  18 in case of waiting list.
  • RAD and Russian students should be about to enter Grade 4; CDTA students should have completed Grade 4 (Teachers who are not familiar with these levels should contact us regarding placement).
  • The student’s ballet teacher must complete the Teacher Evaluation form and submit it directly to the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts at or fax it to (902) 582-7943.
  • Students must be in good general health. The program will be strenuous, but not overly so provided youngsters are in good health. Ross Creek must be notified if the student becomes injured before attending Dance Summer Dance.
  • There are places for 46 students. Program hours are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and includes staying on site over the weekend.  For a picture of life at summer school and a complete list of rules and regulations visit our site after  April 15.
  • Payment in full must be received by July 1.
  • Fees may be paid by post-dated cheques. Contact the office for details.
  • There will be no refunds given after July 01, except for documented medical reasons. In this case only, Ross Creek will give partial credit towards fees for next year’s summer school. In all cases, the deposit is non-refundable.

For more information about the Dance Summer Dance programs, email our Education Director at He can also tell you all about camp life, food, accommodation, recreation and more at Ross Creek during the program.


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