In the whole world, Disney is one of the largest employers for those in the performing arts.
With all of the the Disney platforms–the resorts, theme parks, cruise ships, and experiences, it only makes sense that Disney would want to invite student performers into the fold.
I cannot speak highly enough about our experience with Disney’s Youth Programs, especially the Energy and Waves Physics Lab of the Youth Education Series.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t share my love for Disney’s Performing Arts Programs as well.
Though I am by no means a performer, in my dreams I am.
At home, I can belt out “How Far I’ll Go” or “Let it Go” with the best of them. I can even tear up the dance floor like the talented Cast Members in the Disney Street Party Parade.
But in real life? Not so much.
So when Owen and I had a chance to get a look at one of the Disney Performing Arts Workshops firsthand this summer, believe me when I say we truly appreciated all they did.
Here’s the skinny. . .
What You Need to Know — Disney’s Performing Arts Programs
We were not able to experience the Disney Performing Arts Program like we were with the Youth Education Series, but that was quite all right with us. (No dancers here!)
However, the dancers we saw were participating in the Disney Dancin’ Workshop which takes dance students through a simulated process of professional dance auditions. (HOW cool is that?!)
These young dancers were working hard since 7:30 am in the Performance Hall at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
We came in and watched them work from about 8:30 am to 10:00 am, and man they worked hard! In the time we were there, they learned two whole dances that came together quite nicely when they put it all together.
We learned that:
- the dance group we watched returns every other year for this special Disney Dancin’ Workshop;
- the students all about the audition process;
- there are often a few fun surprises during the workshop;
- there’s a Q & A with the instructor and dancer during the workshop;
- this experience really opens the students’ eyes as to what it is like to be a professional dancer;
- the instructors are actual Disney Cast Members who teach the workshops on the days they’re not performing.
We also got a sneak peek at the spot where bands practice and prepare for their Main Street Parade debut.
Talk about amazing!
To be able to walk through the quiet side lot of the park, where before us thousands of bands with big dreams performed? It was awesome.
The Youth Education Programs vary as much as their topics.
Disney Youth Programs consists of three categories: 1.) Youth Education Series (YES); 2.) Disney Performing Arts (DPA); and 3.) Celebrations and Field Trips. Each component has a ton of options within.
Disney Performing Arts gives performing ensembles from around the world the opportunity to perform, learn, and compete in one of the top travel destinations in the world!
Disney Performing Arts Programs include performance, festivals, and workshops and are all awesome, but here’s the skinny:
- Disney Performing Arts Performances are once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunities for school and community instrumental, vocal, dance and other qualifying ensembles to perform on Disney stages for audiences from around the world;
- Festival Disney is a positive and educationally-meaningful music festival experience for talented middle and high school concert performers;
- Disney Performing Arts Workshops are Disney-designed programs that teach performing arts students concepts in music, dance and theater.
So really, there’s something for every performer or group!
What can performers take away from the performance experience?
- each group gets a recording of their performance to take home
- the cool fact that they’re called “honorary Cast Members” for the day
- memories to last a lifetime!
Where does Festival Disney take place?
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Performance Hall
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Ballroom of the Americas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Atlantic Dance Hall
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (Awards Assembly)
What kinds of Performing Arts Workshops are there?
- Auxiliary and Dance
Who can attend Disney Performing Arts Programs?
Attendees for DPA Programs:
- can be groups of 10 or more students in Disney World Resort and 15 or more students in Disneyland Resort;
- must be at least 7 years old (Performing Arts Performances) or 6 years old for (Performing Arts Workshops);
- may or may not need to bring instruments, depending on the needs of the group (see FAQs);
- read more about attendees here.
- Find the Disney Performing Arts Program that interests you most here, then click to learn more.
- Registration usually fills quickly for these programs so plan ahead! Click here to register!
How do you get connected with Disney Youth Programs?
Now it’s time to learn about the Disney Youth Education Series.
Check it out:
And check out a few other Disney-related posts:
fyi: I was invited to learn about and explore the Disney Youth Programs by my friends at Walt Disney World, but as always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experiences as an educator and parent. My travel and accommodations were covered by Disney, and for that I am grateful. I received no other compensation for this post.