PAC Modern is one of the longest standing teams in the dance community. PAC Modern has not only proved they are here to stay, but through their annual PAC Camp, has also proven that they are an innovative team that is more than willing to give back to the community. Co-coordinators and good friends Skye Victoriano (Artistic Coordinator), Gino Claudio (Artistic Coordinator) and Lauren Belyea (Executive Coordinator) are proudly continuing the PAC Summer Camp tradition for the 7th year this year. It’s clear PAC Camp has been flawlessly ingrained into PAC Modern culture.
PAC Modern Coordinators from left to right: Lauren Belyea, Skye Victoriano, and Gino Claudio
But let’s back up for a second. PAC Camp originally started as a winter camp back in 2005, where they performed for an event called Christmasfest. PAC Modern wanted to create a program/workshop series for the sole purpose of wanting to give back to the community and connect those within the dance community. Since then, PAC Modern has also managed to tack on a summer camp, hosted outside Cal State Long Beach (outside of The Walter Pyramid by the green side). For those who may not know, PAC Camp is an 8-week dance program of classes to help beginner and advanced dancers alike to learn and grow. At the end of the program there is a showcase called SPF, during which ‘PAC Campers’ can show friends and family the culmination of 8 weeks worth of growth.
The way PAC Camp is run is reflective of a team whose values surround the feeling of family. When PAC Campers first begin the program, they are split up into smaller teams and families, led by PAC Modern members. The best part? The flexibility. There is no age or experience restriction, and dancers get to pick and choose which classes they want to take. Once they learn the pieces, they are then blocked into formations and go through all the motions a dance team would to create a set, for SPF. This year in particular, the coordinators have decided to innovate in two ways: first, this will be the first PAC summer camp to bring in outside choreographers to teach workshops. Second, drop-ins will be allowed for a mere $5/class, to give everyone an opportunity to take class from outside choreographers as well (and if you’ve been taking class lately, you know how inexpensive $5/class is). PAC Modern has also decided to give back to a relief program dedicated to the San Diego fires this year.
Between securing choreographers, securing the venue, and ensuring everything is set for PAC Camp, there is much to be handled for the three coordinators, but the reward of seeing the bond between PAC Modern and the community, and knowing that part of their proceeds will go towards a good cause is worth the months of planning for Skye, Gino, and Lauren. In fact, this event is the highlight of the year for these three, since their PAC Modern journey started with PAC Camp. Uniting dances together and seeing the hunger for growth and the passion for dance bubbling in one room is really what these coordinators eagerly anticipate the most. And while learning that much choreography of all levels can be overwhelming, Skye, Gino, and Lauren want to emphasize PAC Camp exists to encourage dancers to be the best of who they are. It is not about judgment, not about competition – it’s about growth.
PAC Modern is coming up on their 20th generation of existence – a milestone they hold near and dear to their hearts. They don’t show any signs of slowing down either; PAC is currently really excited for this summer in particular (and not just for PAC Camp…that’s the only hint I’ll give you). Be sure to be on the look out – given their involvement within the dance community, it’s clear they’re doing something right.
Pac Modern would like to thank their friends, family, fans, alumni, PAC, PAC Cabinet and One Nation for all their support towards PAC camp!
Have you taken PAC Camp before? What was your favorite thing about taking PAC Camp? Leave a comment below to share your experience with us!