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Summer camps Academies offer arts, sports activities
Niki Watkins, owner and artistic director of Cumming Dance Academy, leads students in a class earlier this year. The studio will offer a range of summer camp programs. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

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For more information about these businesses’ camp programs, go to their respective websites:

* Cumming Dance Academy –

* United Futbol Academy –

* Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts –


* Summer camps -- Parents have many to choose from.

FORSYTH COUNTY — Businesses that work with children all year long won’t get much of a break this summer as many will also offer a range of camp options.  

Niki Watkins, owner and artistic director of Cumming Dance Academy, said summer provides the perfect opportunity for children interested in learning more about the school’s programs.

“That’s one of the ways that we love to welcome new students,” Watkins said. “In fact, we encourage new students to take our summer camps because they get to get into the studio, get to know us … and get their feet wet before starting in a new season.

“That’s exactly why we do summer camps. They’re a great introduction to the studio and how we do things.”

Lori Garcia, with United Futbol Academy, a soccer training program, agreed.

“A lot of people just want to try it before they sign up [for a full season],” she said. “With camps, they can just get a feel for the sport … they’re a good little introduction without spending a lot of money or time.”  

This will be Leigh Ann Cannady’s first summer at her business. She opened Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts, which focuses on teaching kids about theatrical and musical arts, in August 2013.

Cannady, like Watkins and Garcia, is looking forward to offering some shorter, more lighthearted activities for the summer months.

“Our response has been really good and we’re excited to see where everything goes because there are so many really creative, fun kids in our community,” she said. “We’re excited about providing a space for them to continue learning over the summer.”

Cannady said her facility’s offerings will include a Broadway Boot Camp, where kids can learn some basic choreography and music from some of the most popular Broadway shows in recent years, as well as an opera camp.

Other camps will be held leading to productions of “Xanadu” and Disney’s “The AristoCats.” The summer will conclude with Forsyth Idol, where students will learn about the world of pop music and at the end of the week, perform with a live band.

United Futbol Academy offers a range of soccer camps for varying age and skill levels, Garcia said.

“We have what we call our summer challenge camps, which are geared toward kids of all levels starting at age 6 and up,” she said. “Then we have what we call our elite camps … those are half-day camps that are really technical for different positions played.”

As for Watkins, Cumming Dance Academy offers several camps with “princess and fairy tale themes,” as well as “weeklong intensives,” private lessons, and stretch and strengthening classes for older students.

Watkins said while it’s important for dancers to keep up their skills over the summer, she also understands that families need a break.

“One of the things we’ve found over the years is the people take vacations and it’s just hard to get anybody to commit through the summer,” she said. “With that being said, I also think they need a little bit of time off.”

Garcia agreed.

“For the administrative team, it’s our busiest time of year with preparing for the fall,” she said, “but for the kids, it’s a nice little break.”