Summer is around the corner and recitals, rehearsals, and competitions are winding down. The school year is ending and dancers everywhere are preparing for summer intensives, classes, workshops, etc. Typically over the summer, many dancers increase the number of days per week and hours per day they are dancing… hence the word “intensive.”
In order to get the most out of your summer intensive, here are some tips to get you prepared:
- Try to gradually increase the amount of dance classes you are taking per day or per week. For example, going from five 1.5hr classes per week to 8-10hours of dancing per day can lead to muscle fatigue impacting technique in class and ultimately lead to injury. Even if you have to take a few classes below your level, it can help increase your stamina and help prepare you for the workload of your summer intensive. Taking multiple genres of dance classes can be helpful as well!
- Another great option would be to partake in cross-training. Try to find either a class or, better yet, private coaching that can work on improving strength, alignment, and flexibility which will ultimately compliment your dance classes to help ensure you are maintaining optimal technique. This can decrease your risk of injury. Also, make sure cardio is included to increase your endurance with higher workloads.
- Get in the habit of incorporating a good warm-up. Often dancers think static stretching is enough to warm-up before class. The truth is, a good warm-up incorporates dynamic movement. This means, you need to get moving in order to properly and truly warm-up. A good warm-up ensures your body will be ready to get the most benefit out of your classes and it will decrease your risk for injury. Save the static stretching for after class, or at least after your warm-up.
- Make sure you get plenty of rest. Although it may be tempting to stay up late with friends, it is essential that you get plenty of sleep before trying to tackle a full day of dancing.
- Stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet. Proper hydration and nutrition also play a large part in how well you will be able to perform in class.
Follow these tips and you will be well prepared for tackling your summer intensive. Summer intensive programs are wonderful experiences. Have fun and soak in all of the knowledge, perspective, and opportunities presented!