2018 marks the 50th Anniversary for Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, and we are touched that U are part of the community.  

As we kick off a season of celebration, we are launching this blog to share news and information as well as tidbits about what how we are thinking about the summer.


  • Puppet Kitchen – Longtime Usdan Festival favorites and premier puppet ensemble, Puppet Kitchen is teaching a class that explores the concepts of focus, breath, and gravity in performance, as well as musicality in narrative and movement. Students will learn the fundamentals of collaborative performance through puppetry by building their own tabletop puppets, creating short individual performances, and working together on a group piece. Available to Four Week Senior Majors.
  • Making Magic and Monsters – In this new creative writing class, students learn how to write original fantasies or scary stories while improving writing skills. Love Harry Potter and Percy Jackson? Who will your heroes and villains be? What will be their quest? What kind of monsters will they fight? In this class, students will learn how to develop their own original ideas using emotion and imagination as their tools. Available to Seven or Four Week Majors in Grades 4 to 6.
  • West African Dance – This class teaches students the fundamentals of West African dance technique. Classes start with a rigorous warm up, followed by a sequence of phrases across the floor. Open to dancers of all levels. Available to Seven, Four, Three and Two Week Minors or as a Rec.
  • Acting Like It Hurts – A Stage Combat Primer – Can you take punch? Duel with a sword? Die on stage and still earn applause? This class teaches how the pros do it and bring down the house. Instruction in hand-to-hand combat, swordplay, and the big swan song from a certified Stage Combat instructor. The class finishes in an onstage Fight Fest! Available to Four Week Minors in Grades 6 to 10.
  • Choreographic Institute – Geared towards those with a passion for choreography and dance making. Students will create their own solo and group work while working with three renowned choreographers with an emphasis on improvisation and experimental choreographic systems. A separate application will be required for acceptance. Available to Seven Week Senior Majors who are in 9th to 12th grade.

Other new classes include Absolute Beginners Piano; Bookmaking; Broadway Jazz Dance; Intermediate Photography; Absolute Beginner Guitar & Ukulele; Photography: Out & About; Photography: In Studio; Sculpture That Moves; Cosplay & Soft Sculpture; Dance Makers: Creative Movement; Rock on!; and Design Your World in 3D.  

To see all our classes available for 2018 visit


The Usdan Leadership Institute is our summer leadership program for high school students and is designed to cultivate thoughtful, independent young artists who will become the next generation of leaders in the arts. The day consists of a major, a minor, daily assemblies by student and professional artists, an Institute period and a job assignment. All members will receive leadership training twice a week, have a job assignment and may choose between a mentoring or recreation track for their Institute period.

  • Mentoring track: 1 day of leadership training, 1 day of guest speaker, 2 days of mentoring in one’s Major, and a choice of Friday free swim or Games, Hoops and Nets.
  • Recreation track: 1 day of leadership training, 1 day of guest speaker, 3 days of the Recreational Activity of your choice.

Institute students gain valuable work experience serving as mentors to younger students and assisting in camp operations. Assigned jobs are performed before and after classes, during performances and lunch, and require students to miss a few minutes of class. Applicants will be selected based on their leadership potential, following completion of an application and interview. All students accepted into the program will receive leadership stipends for their work.

Visit the Institute page for more information.

There’s a lot more news to come so please check back and like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

And, let us know your news.  If you are a member of the Usdan family (camper, staff, alumni, friend), let us know what you’re up to. If you are showing your work, we’d love to share it through our social networks as well.

Here’s to U!

One thought on “NEW YEAR. NEW CLASSES. NEW U.

  • Hello Usdan! The new classes sound wonderful I can’t wait to be back there this summer teaching metalsmithing to all the boys and girls coming to the camp. West African dance sounds like it’s going to be great I think I’m going to sign my son up for that this year .Until this summer Ms.D

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