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The Youth Arts Program (YAP),  brings our Maine community together by inviting youth ages 6-17 together to study with world-class artists to experience music and dance firsthand.

Students are engaged in an intensive and enjoyable three weeks of performing and visual arts classes taught by a staff of gifted arts educators from around the country. YAP is a full-day (9am to 5pm) non-residential program.

Applications for 2024 will be available on February 20. 

Program Details

Youth Arts Program: July 15 – August 2, 2024

YAP engages young people ages 6-17 in an intensive and enjoyable three weeks of arts classes taught by a staff of gifted arts educators. YAP is structured as a full-day (9am to 4:45pm) non-residential program. During the three-weeks students experience a range of dance/movement styles — from modern and ballet to hip hop, social dance and yoga– as well as musical genres from around the world, theater, storytelling, poetry, writing and visual arts. The arts offer meaningful ways to engage children in healthy, creative and expressive ways. Our mission is to enrich children’s lives through the arts.

Program Features

  • Every child takes dance, music, theater and visual arts classes
  • Daily classes provide dance experience from hip hop and jazz to modern, ballet and yoga
  • Music classes include singing, rhythm, drumming and music from around the world
  • Visual arts, theater and storytelling classes offer additional avenues for expression
  • Younger students develop imagination and cooperation skills in creative movement classes
  • Teens study choreography and collaborate to develop a new dance piece
  • Healthy lunch and snacks each day
  • Master classes and demonstrations by internationally renowned artists from Bates Dance Festival
  • Every child contributes to the creation of a final production that is performed in the Festival Finale
  • Complimentary tickets to select Festival performances and events
  • The arts offer meaningful ways to engage children intellectually, emotionally and physically.

Research shows that study in the arts:

  • Increases children’s self-confidence
  • Improves learning
  • Increases self-discipline and expression
  • Promotes tolerance and increases understanding of different cultures
  • Instills a sense of joy

Program Location and Dates

Youth Arts Program will take place from Monday, July 15 through Friday, August 2, from 9am to 5pm at the Mays Center on the Bates College campus. Morning drop off begins at 8:40am and afternoon pick up is by 5pm. A mandatory orientation meeting for all participants will be held on Sunday afternoon, July 14. A final performance will take place Friday, August 2 in the late afternoon.

For more information email the Director of Training Programs, Alexandra James at the Bates Dance Festival office,

Program Costs

The program fee is $825 plus the non-refundable $10 application fee. The program cost covers the three-week program including lunch in the Bates Dining Common, daily snacks and complimentary tickets for select Festival events.

Early Bird Discount

Families who enroll their student by April 30 receive an early bird discount of $750.

Admission Requirements

  • Enthusiasm for the arts – dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing
  • Willingness to try new things and contribute ideas

Children with no experience or lots of experience can participate, gain new skills, and HAVE FUN!


The Bates Dance Festival offers a limited number of partial and full YAP scholarships to qualifying families. To apply, complete the YAP application and select the option to apply for a scholarship at the bottom. Please mail your most recent 1040 and/or a written narrative documenting your financial need.

Bates Dance Festival
Attn: YAP Scholarship Committee
Pettigrew Hall
305 College St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Registration Process and Deadline

Applications open February 20 and students will be admitted, on a rolling basis, until each age group is filled. Please note, our youngest age groups fill quickly!


If notified by June 14th, 2024 a full refund will be made less a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be made after this date.

Program Sponsors

Youth Arts is made possible with generous support from:   The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation

Faculty & Staff

Professional, experienced, nationally recognized artists and teachers of children.

Bianca Broman (Art Instructor) is a mixed media visual artist originally from Houston, Texas. She started young at Art Studio on the Boulevard and Claire School of Dance and has maintained a passion for the arts (visual and performing). She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in Visual Art from Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She has studied and expressed herself through various styles of visual art from painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, digital art, ceramics, textiles, performance, etc. and has studied various styles of creative movement and dance from modern and ballet to social dances and yoga. She has given classes, taken classes, and performed in various subjects and settings locally and internationally. Community involvement and education and outreach are important passions of hers, and she believes that a secret to unlocking happiness is contained in appreciating and engaging in the arts.  

Cristina Camacho (aka Macho) (Modern Instructor) is a professional dancer and choreographer based in New York City, originally hailing from the DMV. A graduate of the University of Maryland College Park (B.A. Dance / B.S. Kinesiology), she relocated to New York in 2018, where she has since performed in numerous commercial gigs (MTV VMA’s, Telemundo Upfronts, The Soul Spot by Candace Brown, The CW, BET) and has traveled internationally as a choreographer and dance educator, presenting her own work fusing street-styles and modern/contemporary dance. She is interested in how boundaries can be broken between the concert and commercial dance industries and is using her artistry and arts administrative experience to explore that relationship. When she is not dancing, Cristina lends her skills to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in a Communications role.

Rob Flax (music instructor) is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Evanston, IL with a playful heart and an open mind. He has performed nationally and internationally with groups of many different styles, including opening for B.B. King and Tower of Power, playing viola and violin with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and YouTube star Jacob Collier, upright bass in an Argentine tango ensemble, mandolin and fiddle in various bluegrass bands, electric violin in several rock bands, collaborations with modern dancers, and more. As a composer Rob has written music for choreographers, film (including work on the soundtrack of James Franco’s film As I Lay Dying), and several original projects. Rob is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory (M.M. 2012 – Contemporary Improvisation, Music In Education), and he currently lives in Boston, MA.

Terrence Karn  (Music Director/instructor)  is a dance and musical artist/composer/educator. He began his career as a dance musician in 1971 at the Minnesota Dance Theatre. During the 1980s, Terrence taught character dance at Houston Ballet Academy and was a dance accompanist for over nine years. He was a resident Dance Musician/ Composer in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Houston (1999-2007), Denison University’s Department of Dance (2007-2011) and at The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (2012-2015) Terrence has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Karen Stokes Dance, and Core Performance Company and has had a long-time affiliation with Jane Weiner and Hope Stone Dance company as an educator and musician. Terrence is the cofounder of Gypsy Dance Theatre, a Texas-based world music and dance ensemble. He was a member of Black Isles Belly Dance Theatre and The Fandazzi Fire Circus based in Minneapolis, MN 2015/2016. Currently, Terrence works in Houston, TX in the Fall, at Houston Ballet, The High School For Performing and Visual Arts, The University of Houston, Hope Stone and The Texas Renaissance Festival. In the winter and spring Terrence lives  Lewiston, Maine and accompanies dance at Bates College and Bowdoin College. Karn will return to the Bates Dance Festival for his 21st. year as Musical Director for the Youth Arts Program. Terrence has recorded six all original music CDs. He has composed numerous works for dance companies on planet earth and has played for over 20,727 dance classes and counting.

Mariama “Ama” Law (Hip Hop Dance Instructor) was born into African dance culture through Kankouran West African Dance Company, as both parents are founding members. While at University of Maryland (UMD), Ama enjoyed dancing, choreographing and directing DyNaMiC hip hop dance team. Ama graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in Women’s Studies. After undergrad, Ama intensely studied in New York completing a professional semester at Broadway Dance Center and worked at various physical therapy clinics assisting Howard University dance majors in the recovery process.

As an alumni of local DMV hip hop groups Culture Shock D.C. and KickRocks crew, Ama enjoys staying grounded and connected with the community. Currently, Ama is involved in the rotation of lovely humans teaching at Dance Place DC as part of the Rooting the Dance Series! Ama is also a co-director of Project ChArma, a collective of teaching artists, and hip hop lovers who promote social change through movement. Project ChArma will be presented at the Kennedy Center in April 2024 as the newest recipients of the Local Dance Commissioning Fund!

Ama received her MFA in dance from UMD and is delighted to return as an Artist-in-Residence for the 2023-2025 season. She is a passionate educator, always searching for new avenues to provide inspiration to the future generation of movers to not only become fierce but knowledgeable individuals.

Annalyn Lehnig (Theater Instructor) is an actress and writer based in San Diego, CA. Prior to the pandemic, her one woman show, LAMB/WOLF was presented by Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn. The Circus Lovesick, her first one woman show, has been presented in New York, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and San Diego. The Annalyn Lehnig Channel on Youtube is home to Annalyn’s improvisational videos and developmental performance material. Annalyn Lehnig is a voice over artist and on occasion reads poetry to plants. More at

Priscilla Rivas (YAP Director) is a dancer and educator in Houston, Texas.  She is the artistic director of the Colombian Folkloric Ballet and a performer/choreographer with the Global Dance Theatre. Priscilla holds a BS degree in Early Childhood Education, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction in Urban Education (specialization in Learning, Design & Technology.) She has been an elementary classroom teacher for 8 years, a vice principal for 4 years and is now the principal of the nationally renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, also known as Kinder HSPVA.  She joined the YAP family in 2009 and serves as both the director and visual arts teacher.

Madeline Warriner (Choreography Instructor) is a movement artist, educator, and advocate residing in Brooklyn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance and an MEd in Dance Education, where she received university, state, and professional awards.  She has performed works by Doug Elkins, Manuel Vignouelle, and Robert Battle, Stephan Koplowitz, and more. She was a company member with The Equus Projects for 5+ years and is currently working with Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in the movement collective loveconductors. She has taught dance outreach throughout NYC and the tri-state area, Vermont, Maine, and D.C. She also teaches yoga and pilates  and created Harlem Yoga Studio’s Kids Yoga Teacher Training. She has shared her research and practice on movement, mindfulness, and cognitive development in various education professional development workshops and conferences.