Dancers! The sun is shining, school is out, and guess what that means? Time to think about SUMMER!
It’s the best time of the year, right!? And you want to take advantage of it in the right way for YOU and your dance goals. Here are some of our top tips for getting the MOST out of your summer break:
Tip 1 – Consider Cross-Training
Tip 2 – Experience Something New
Tip 3 – Connect at Home
Tip 4 – “Goldilocks” Your Time Off
Tip 5 – Reflect and Restart
Tip 6 – Ready, Set, DANCE!
BONUS 2 – Making the Most of Your Summer Intensive
Summer is THE perfect time to try out new activities that will enhance your dancing. Swimming, for example, is an awesome compliment to dance because it is non-weight bearing and helps you strengthen your upper body—so if you were wondering whether to jump in the pool with your friends, the answer is YES. 🙂
Yoga is another good choice to try, and not just for the physical benefits: its focus on mindfulness can help you breathe deeper and cope with anxiety. A cool thing about this is that you are being proactive for the next dance season, building good habits in your mind that can carry you through stressful times. Cross-training is healthy for your entire well-being!
Experience Something New
Whether you are attending a dance camp or summer intensive or taking the summer “off” from regular classes, get inspired by choosing to do something out of your comfort zone! Sign up for that master class in jazz funk, for example, or audition for the summer musical. If there’s a dance festival or workshop you can participate in, DO IT! Don’t hesitate. What other time of year do you have the freedom to mix it up? Now’s the time to say YES to new opportunities and explore your strengths.
Don’t just do what your friends do—do what YOU want to do! Maybe you took tap classes when you were a little kid, and now you want to try again. Or perhaps everyone thinks you’re amazing at hip hop, but you’ve always wanted to try ballet. You WILL grow your confidence by stepping into something that’s out of the norm. And who knows? You might just love it.
Connect at Home
If your summer plans take you out of town, be sure to connect with your home studio in SOME way. Drop in for a class or camp when you’re available, or ask your parents to sign you up for a few private lessons. You could also send your teacher an email with an update on your travels, or text some pictures of you dancing on vacation! Teachers LOVE to hear about what you’re doing to keep up with your dancing, whether it’s working out on your own, trying out a master class, or preparing for your summer intensive’s performance.
As a dedicated dancer, it’s important that you and your studio keep a connection during the summer, so THEY know what you’re up to and so YOU know you have their love and support. Show them that even though you are away, you’re still part of the dance family!
“Goldilocks” Your Time Off
Remember the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Channel your inner Goldilocks when it comes to how much time you take off of dancing in the summer. Try to make sure it’s not too much and not too little. If you’ve made some awesome progress recently, you don’t want to lose that momentum! And if you’re looking to MAKE more progress, well, it almost goes without saying: You NEED to get in some quality time at the studio!
Finding the right balance of time off can be a challenge, but here’s a good rule of thumb: One to two weeks off at a time, with no dancing, is going to be healthy for you! You’ll get to rest and focus on other parts of your life. Taking one to two months off at a time though might mean that you’ll have extra “catch-up” work to do in the fall. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to recharging your batteries, but it IS something to be prepared for!
Reflect and Restart
Use your summer to think back on the previous season and reflect on your highs and lows. (Putting these thoughts in a journal can be very therapeutic!) Remember when you didn’t get the part you wanted in the ballet, but then you succeeded in the part you DID get? Big win! Or what about the time you dealt with an injury but learned how to prevent it next time? That’s a MAJOR lesson in resilience!
Reflecting on the dance year also gives you room to think about what’s next. Maybe you have some new goals to set for the fall or a dream to explore in reality! Get those ideas out of your head and onto paper so you can start putting them into action. Summertime is ideal for new expectations and new beginnings.
Ready, Set, DANCE!
Let’s face it: You need to begin the fall semester feeling like you have the positive energy to tackle ANYTHING that comes your way! Resolve to start the new season on the right foot, now that you feel refreshed from the summer. Say goodbye to negative self-talk and banish gossip. Start with a clean slate! Remember: YOU get to decide how to move forward into the new year, and your choices say a lot about your maturity and personal growth.
Want to be taken more seriously? Demonstrate how responsible you are; show your focus. Want to move to the next level? Pretend like you’re already there. Want to make major progress in your technique? Ask great questions. There are so many ways you can prove yourself as a strong and capable dancer. Being willing to learn and lead with positivity will get you there!
BONUS 1: 4 Mistakes Dancers Make When Picking Summer Intensives
According to DancesSpirit.com here are 4 mistakes dancers make when picking summer Intensives:
- Not Doing Your Research
- Prioritizing the Wrong Things
- Following Your Friends
- Not Challenging Yourself
BONUS 2: 3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Summer Intensive
According to DanceInforma.com here the 3 tips for making the most of your summer intensive.
- Being Prepared
- Getting Everything Out of the Experience
- Remembering What You’ve Learned