Sarah “Sass” Rapkin has been coming to Brant Lake Dance Camp since she herself started as a camper at 12 years old. Originally from Westchester, New York, Sass grew up with a love of dance and an even bigger love of all things camp. After receiving a BA at Tulane University she continued on and received her MA in Education from NYU. Sass’s summers were all spent at BLDC. Now, a full-time teacher in NYC, Sass lives “ten months for two” as the Director of Brant Lake Dance Camp. Not only a great guidance counselor, leader and communicator, Sass’s love of lip sync battles, across the floor combinations, and ooey gooey s’mores can be felt as you hear her enthusiastic voice call out for “9:30 Classes!”. She’s a fantastic roll model and advocate for our campers and staff. Brant Lake Dance Camp is part of her heart and soul. We couldn’t be more excited to have such a perfect person for the job.
Q&A’s with Sass:
You’ve been at Brant Lake Dance Camp since you were a young camper. What is it about BLDC that makes girls want to come back?
I remember so clearly the moment I knew I had to come back after my first summer. It was a Sunday- which means bbq at the lake- and I was sitting with my hot dog laughing with girls younger than me and older than me from all over the world and I thought to myself: “This is the best place on Earth.” Every summer since, I’ve had that feeling again and again. BLDC does the best job at providing dance instruction to make campers better and stronger dancers while still being able to have the full camp experience. I loved having a place to dance in a pressure free environment while still getting the silly, comfy, exciting pieces of going to camp.
Why did you keep coming back?
It was the dance instruction that brought me in, but that’s certainly not the only thing. BLDC is a place where I found a community of incredible girls and staff every summer who helped me grow and supported me through learning to water ski, nailing a dance combination, and of course, flashlight stories. Certainly the friendships that I made kept me coming back year after year.
What would you say the camp experience gives a girl that first summer that she’s a camper?
The camp experience gives a girl confidence that first summer that she is a camper. From the moment a girl walks onto camp she is immediately met with open arms and smiling faces-immediately feeling that sense of belonging. Through the weeks at camp she will gain confidence as she tries out new classes and activities with support and encouragement. She will feel empowered by completing her bunk jobs and choosing her daily classes. So much growth happens in a few weeks time-and seeing that progress is one of the most exciting and favorite parts of each summer.
What makes you excited about coming back to camp this summer in this new position?
I feel like each summer as I went from camper to counselor to assistant director has led me to this summer! I feel like as Director of BLDC, I can share my experiences from the past and look forward to creating new memories
with my Brant Lake family. We are all counting down the days to “the best place on Earth”and I couldn’t be more excited for the summer of 2021 as we all reunite for the best summer ever!!!!