SIP: In Conversation with Anisa Tejpar

Not only is Anisa Tejpar a long time company member, she is also the Summer Intensive Program (SIP) Coordinator.  Administrative Intern, Alison Keery, sat down with Anisa to chat about ProArteDanza's Summer Intensive Program and how it has evolved over the years. Enjoy!
How did SIP first come to be?  What was its initial inspiration?
This is a great question. Although I wasn't the SIP Manager at the time, I remember when Roberto decided to start the SIP program. Inside, aside from being a creator, Roberto is a teacher. He loves to pass knowledge on and is passionate about dance and how he views it. He wanted to create dancers that he would want to see on stage dancing with ProArteDanza, so he generated a space and program to do so.

Do you think that that vision still remains true?
Yes. We encourage young people to be bold, and passionate about their dancing and their careers. Those are the kinds of dancers that we ourselves are and what ProArteDanza's foundation is.

How has SIP evolved over the years? 
Well, it has increased in size. We now have 20-30 dancers in the SIP program and we are in the 2nd year of our Aspirante Program for dancers 13-16 years of age. It's very exciting to be working with even younger dancers. They change and improve so quickly. It's quite amazing.

How does SIP differ from other summer programs that are offered?
This program is very intense and is one of those experiences that these dancers always remember. They are at the cusp of starting their careers, and we really just want give them the confidence, the push and the tools to hopefully take the last plunge. We care about them deeply and the work that we are all doing. Every dancer who comes out of this program at the end of the month is changed, has grown as a dancer and as a person, in some way. 

Can you explain where the idea for awarding an apprenticeship came from? 
We thought it was important to put our money where our mouths were. If we were going to make a program for dancers who we wanted to hire then we would need to hire a new one each year!

Do you think it is a successful model and why?
I love having a SIP apprentice join the company each year. It gives the group a freshness, and newness that we all enjoy. It also ups the ante of the SIP program!

What is your favourite part about SIP and why?
The best part about this program is that dancers come from all over the country. Dancers that would never otherwise know each other, from different schools and training backgrounds; at our program, they become friends, sometimes very good friends. It's special.

When auditioning dancers for this summer program what is it in particular that you are looking for?
Passion for dance, talent, self awareness, and something special... whatever that is. 


What is special about this years SIP?
This year, SIP and Aspirante are going to be very unique because we are keeping everything in the family. Robert Glumbek and John Ottmann are creating pieces for SIP and Roberto Campanella is creating for Aspirante. Ryan Lee, Erin Poole, Tyler Gledhill and I are teaching all the repertoire, so everyone on staff this year has been a long standing contributor with ProArteDanza. We all know each other very well, and enjoy working together, so this is going to be a memorable summer of working with friends.