Ella Snavely is spending her summer far from home. The 13-year-old from Fort Wayne, Indiana is living at Dickinson College and attending a five-week summer camp at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
“This place is so strong in technique and has amazing teachers,” Snavely said.
She left her family and friends for the summer to focus on her future.
“Really to just improve my technique and make it stronger,” she said. “It is hard to be away for the summer but I know that I’m working for my future and to make my dreams a reality.”
Snavely is one of 500 campers who come from 43 different states and seven different countries.
“I think it’s one of those things that they have realized that want to take this more seriously so this isn’t a sacrifice, this is a bonus,” CEO Nicholas Ade said. “This is them living their dream to be able to focus on what they’ve really wanted to be able to do all year.”
Ade said the camp’s curriculum of four classes a day requires an immense amount of dedication but offers some amazing rewards in return.
“At the end of five weeks you realize how far you’ve come, but it takes a lot of grueling work each and every day,” Ade said. “They’re finding like-minded peers and creating new friendships that they’ll actually have for a lifetime.”
Snavely said it’s been an adjustment to leave her life in Indiana, but hopes her path through Carlisle will lead her to a national stage.
“My dream is to dance at the New York City Ballet one day and be a principle there,” Snavely said.
The businesses in downtown Carlisle are also benefiting from this camp; it brings an estimated $2.3 million to the local economy over the five-week period.