A Beautiful Intensive: 3-Week Aerial, Dance & Flying Intensive Workshop

Train with the BEST! Guest artist & choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance, Aeriel Choreographer to the Stars, Dreya Weber (Pink, Micheal Jackson, Taylor Swift & more), Choreographer and Momix & Pilobus dancer, Karen Fuhrman, Flying Choreographer for American Idiot, Momix and Royal Caribbean, Jason Whiker and the All-star Creative Team of BEAUTIFUL!

Program Dates: May 28 - June 21, 2013

CLICK HERE for more information on A BEAUTIFUL INTENSIVE

CLICK HERE for a PDF information Sheet.

The application deadline for the 2013 program is MAY 8th.

A BEAUTIFUL INTENSIVE: 3-Week Aerial, Dance & Flying Intensive Workshop is an elite experience in dance, aerial arts, and performer flying effects held at Michigan Tech University that will culminate in showcase performances as part of FinnFest 2013 of a new show called BEAUTIFUL: A Cirque-Tale of how the butterfly grew her wings.

Advanced students of movement arts in good shape who are dedicated, artistic, disciplined, have a desire to learn new skills, and have a strong passion to perform will not want to miss this amazing opportunity! Admission is competitive and the program is limited to performers 18 and over at the time of the program (with unique exceptions for advanced performers under 18). International students are welcome to apply. 

Hosted by Michigan Tech University Visual & Performing Arts Program, A BEAUTIFUL INTENSIVE is designed to give participants:

  • knowledge, experience, and training in three ‘hot’ genres currently sweeping the globe - aerial dance, contemporary dance, and performer flying effects (harness and wire work) making them exceedingly more marketable as artists.
  • daily training with specialized instructors well known throughout the industry in the various art forms throughout the morning and early afternoon in effective 'class' style instruction.
  • a development workshop experience in the making of an original production. Afternoons and evenings will be filled with workshop rehearsals working with the creative team as they sculpt the show BEAUTIFUL which utilizes various movement art forms to tell the story.
  • the training and experience for future opportunities! Stand out performers may be asked to continue with the project in future workshops and possible future employment on an international tour of BEAUTIFUL as well as be entered into a talent pool for future work utilizing the various art forms.


Each day begins with warm up, stretching, strength and conditioning work followed by classes in various dance techniques, classical partnering, aerial dance (silks, lyra, trapeze, rope, etc.), and performer flying effects. After lunch classes may continue and every performer participates in afternoon and evening rehearsals for BEAUTIFUL with final workshop performances held as part of FinnFest 2013, June 19 – 21. Instructors include members of the BEAUTIFUL creative team as well as world-renowned guest artists.

Students will be housed in assigned Residence Hall dorms with a roommate, adjacent to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on the Michigan Tech University campus. Three meals a day will be covered on a dining plan in a Residence Dining Hall on campus with a full service dining program. Although participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements to Michigan Tech University arriving on May 27th, transportation will be provided to/from the airport and will not be necessary during your stay on campus. Additional details will be provided to those candidates who are selected to participate in the Intensive.


Dreya Weber: Aerial Choreographer

Dreya's most recent aerial choreography is featured in Pink's current Truth About Love tour. She designed and choreographed Pink's "Glitter In The Air", a highlight of the 2010 Grammy awards. Dreya designed and choreographed all of the aerials for Pink's record breaking Funhouse tour and her choreography for Pink's "Sober" was featured on the 2009 MTV VMA Awards. In 2009, Dreya was aerial consultant and choreographer for Michael Jackson's This Is It. Dreya also choreographed the aerials for Taylors Swift's Speak Now, Katy Perry's California Dreams, Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite, Britney Spears Circus and Cher Live at Caesar's Palace. Past tours include: Rihanna's Last Girl On Earth, Leona Lewis Labyrinth, Carrie Underwood Play On, Madonna’s Re-invention, Pink's Try This (2004), Pink's I'm Not Dead (2006), and her opening for Justin Timberlake's Future Sex LoveCher's Living Proof, Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics, 50 Cent at the 2007 BET awards, 2006 Kids Choice awards. Cher’s Living Proof, (dancer and featured aerialist). Secret Talents Of The Stars (CBS).  Network national Fruit Of The Loom commercial. Choreographer and featured performer for the Obama Inaugural Ball (ABC). Dreya has also produced and starred in the independent feature films A MARINE STORY and THE GYMNAST, which have won 48 awards at festivals in the US and internationally. Dreya's current film project Raven's Touch, which she is co-writing and will star in, will be shot summer 2013. Learn more about Dreya and watch her Aerial Reel here.

Jason Whicker: Flying Choreographer/Co-Creator/Producer

Jason, singer, dancer, and choreographer has worked on Broadway and large scale productions such as American Idiot (formerly on Broadway), Fame Becomes Me (Martin Short), Angels: The Musicals (Broadway Bound), and other numerous professional shows throughout the world. Jason has created new works of flying art for Cisco Systems, Wrigley's 5 Gum, 26th Annual SEA games and most recently, Jason was the aerial choreographer for the Centrum WOW shows on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Serenade and Brilliance ships. Other aerial choreography credits include performances at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg, the Bayan Palace in Kuwait for the 50th Anniversary of Kuwait's Liberation, Jason’s experience in Stage Combat also includes recognition from the Society of American Fight Directors as an Advanced Actor Combatant in 7 of the 8 weapons. http://www.jasonwhickerproductions.com. Watch his Fight & Flight Reel here. 

Karen Fuhrman: Ground and Aerial Choreographer  

With her M.A. from NYU in choreography and higher dance education, Karen A. Fuhrman specializes in both ground and aerial choreography. She has performed with Pilobolus, seen with 2007 Oscars Award Show, Ellen Degenerous, Good Morning America, and the Conan O’ Brian show. Other credits include Cavalia of Cirque du Soleil, De La Guarda (off-Broadway NYC), and MOMIX dance company. She has also danced for the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, MTV, PBS, ABC, and SHOWTIME. With Grounded Aerial, Ms. Fuhrman’s choreography has appeared at Yerba Buena’s Art Festival (San Francisco), Microsoft's worldwide Vista and Office Logo launch, benefits in Lake Tahoe, Limelight night club (NYC), Company y Company (Barcelona, Spain), Bidvest International Awards Ceremony (Johannesburg, South Africa), Skirball Theater (NYC opening for Neil Diamond), Baila! (National Palace of Culture in Guatemala City), Spiderman II release party, Usher (NYC Gala), Madeski, Martin, and Wood Concert (Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC), the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the ESPY awards for ESPN, the Lincoln Center NYC, America’s Got Talent, Beach House music video, Studio 54, and most recently debuted on Broadway with the hit musical Matilda. Ms. Fuhrman wrote, directed and produced an aerial play, Insectinside which  premiered in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Park Slope Brooklyn. www.groundedaerial.com Watch her performance reel here.

Jennifer Kelly: Producer/Director/Co-creator

Jennifer Kelly literally grew up in the back of theatre making her stage debut at the age of four and has been directing for over twenty years. She has directed and produced over a hundred productions and also serves on numerous advisory entertainment boards across the globe.  Executive Director of JENNIFER KELLY PRODUCTIONS, Ms. Kelly currently has numerous projects in the works such as the original flying show, BEAUTIFUL: A Cirque-Tale of how the butterfly grew her wings, CAVALLO! - a large highflying equestrian spectacle arena production that weaves together artistry, magic, and special effects, and PETALWINK: THE MUSICAL, part of an motivational series intended to tour to theaters and schools. Kelly is also currently serving as Executive Director of a brand new state of the art hybrid performing arts venue for the Axis Ventures Enterplex project, and is a Senior Partner and Production and Entertainment Director for There is No Sky, LLC. www.jenniferkellyproductions.com

Creative and Instructional Support Team

Rounding out the BEAUTIFUL experience and production team will be various members of the All-Star Creative Team and instructors well known throughout the industry who will support the instructional needs, creative development, and behind the scenes activity during the Intensive. Credits for our dream staff range from work in regional theatre to Broadway; cruise ships to concert tours; and music videos to motion pictures. The quality of professionalism our staff provides will expose participants to an elite experience, and deliver exceptional results for our final showcase performance of BEAUTIFUL.


Please note: Applicants MUST have significant prior training in at least one of the three movement art forms to attend this program: aerial dance, flying, and/or dance (any genre but modern/contemporary is preferred). It is not necessary to have experience in more than one area but is highly recommended. Performance experiences in modern dance, silk, lyra, trapeze, and harness/wire flying may be helpful, but is not required. At the start of the program, there will be auditions for placement, strength testing, and casting for the final showcase performances. It is highly recommended that participants be in excellent physical condition and be prepared for strenuous training and rehearsing. Training will focus on various dance styles such as modern/contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip-hop, and partner dancing.

Enrollment in A BEAUTIFUL INTENSIVE is competitive and limited to select performers. Artists may submit via video if they were not already seen at a live audition. (Auditions were held at Southeastern Theatre Conference and at the Straz Center in Tampa, FL). The first step in the admissions process is to complete the online application, available here through Acceptd, and submit a reel or links to performance(s).

Note: Performers that participated in auditions are still required to apply and submit headshots/resumes through Acceptd, and it is strongly encouraged that they submit video as applicable. 

The deadline to submit the online application is May 8, 2013. 


  • Submit the online application, including: 
    • Headshot
    • Full body shot
    • Resume
    • Video audition (see requirements below)
  • Pay the $40 application fee by credit card


Applicant submissions should showcase their flexibility, agility, strength, and should demonstrate the performer’s artistic qualities and flow of movement. Applicants should only submit in areas in which they have experience. Safety should always be your number one priority. Please do not attempt something new or without proper support, supervision and rigging. Please submit each of the following sections separately (as applicable): 

Introductory Section: A brief close-up shot of the performer (face or ½ body), in which the performer clearly states his or her name, and a brief history of previous training and/or performance experience.

Headshot & Resume Section: Please submit online a recent headshot, full body shot, and talent resume.

Dance Performance Section: It is recommended the Dance Section show the artist utilizing various dances styles and abilities such as jumping, leaps, turns, floor work, grand jetés, tour jetés, and balancés. Men, please include lift work if possible. Emotional commitment, facial expressions, and personal connection to your work are essential.

Aerial Dance/Flying Section: It is recommended the Aerial Dance Section show the artist utilizing various apparatus (if applicable). Preferably silks, lyra, trapeze, hammocks, corde lisse, straps, and harness and wire flying, and/or Spanish web. Please showcase strength and proper technique as well as artistic expression and ability to ‘tell a story’ while performing.

Bonus Performance Section: Although not required, this section allows the artist an opportunity to share additional talents, dance styles, and unique skills such as stage combat (hand, sword and/or shield), mime/pantomime, contortion, hand balancing, juggling, stilt walking, jumping stilts, fire, ribbon dancing, gymnastics (tumbling or trampoline), flag or hoop spinning, parkour, martial arts, perch, Chinese pole, tight rope, magic tricks, cyr wheel, roller blading/ice skating, acrobatics, partner work, etc.

Clothing Suggestions: It is highly recommended the performer should be in a unitard, or tights and tight fitting top or leotard that clearly enables the viewer to observe the dancer’s technique and physique. Avoid skirts, loose fitting tee-shirts, leg warmers, and baggy costumes. It is recommended that care be taken to wear colors that will stand out clearly from the background.

For support and questions with your online application, please call: 1-888-725-2122.


Once all video auditions are reviewed, final admissions decisions will be e-mailed. A select number of performers will be admitted to the intensive program, and a waiting list of will be established. All applicants will receive notification of their final admission status and further instructions via e-mail no later than May 6th.


  • Application and Video Audition Fee - $40
  • Tuition, Room & Board  - $1,575 (includes double occupancy housing and three meals a day)


Some tuition financial aid is available. Once admitted to the intensive, if a student wishes to apply for financial assistance, they are invited to submit a letter explaining their financial situation. Financial aid awards are based on both need and merit.


As always, you can e-mail your questions to beautiful@mtu.edu or call (941) 626-0688. Note that submissions will not be accepted via email.

For support and questions with your online Acceptd application, please email support@getacceptd.com or call 1-888-725-2122.