6 TIPS for summer dance program success:
1. Have fun but stay focused.
There’s a lot going on at a summer intensive and not all of it is dance-related. Making friends, hanging out with new people, enjoying a change of scenery — this is all part of the experience but, in the end, you’re there to dance. Don’t lose sight of this.
Intensives are intense. Eat right. Stay hydrated. Get some sleep. Make time for warm up. Careless showing off can have consequences. Know your limits. Rest. Ice. Pay attention to pain.
3. Embrace what’s new or challenging.
Be open to unfamiliar ways of doing something and to different teaching styles. This exposure is one of the advantages of attending a summer program. Your positive attitude and willingness to adapt is crucial to success while you’re there and great practice for professional life as a dancer. Plus, the connections you make now can affect or play a role in your future.
4. Absorb and apply.
This is a primary principle of dance but is amplified during summer study when there is so much to take in. Relish this time. Be a sponge and take it home with you.
5. Record your findings.
Intensives go by fast. Writing down corrections, concepts, quotes, feelings, combinations, moments of clarity or confusion will help you hold on to and process all that you are absorbing.
6. Don’t lose your spirit.
You came for a challenge but when the going gets tough, it’s easy for your mind to be ensnared by punishing comparisons and negative competitiveness. Be gracious with yourself, knowing that you cannot be perfect and still be learning something. Great growth comes from mistakes and failure. Encourage others to do their best so that you always have motivation to do your best.
Links and resources for each stage of the pre-summer process.
Audition season takes planning and mental preparation. These are tips from a classical ballet teacher who has been through it.
From city accommodations to vitamins, this one looks at a rigorous summer from the parents’ POV.
If you can’t or don’t want to rely on your parents for funding, this student offers tested ideas for raising money.
A summer intensive student has some tips for being prepared and getting through your first summer away from home.
Peer advice on some of the greatest challenges you’ll face while away for your summer intensive.
Where are you in your summer planning process?
Tell us in the comments and feel free to post your questions!
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.