If you’re like most ballet dancers, summer means one thing: summer intensives. Summer intensives are an age-old tradition where dancers get together for several weeks of rigorous training and exceptional practice during the summer months when other distractions like school are minimal.
Tips for Making The Most of Your Summer Ballet Intensive
Summer intensives are a huge part of growing as a dancer. They are integral not only in keeping your skills and conditioning primed during summer months, but are also an opportunity to make great strides in your dance and performance technique. They are a wonderful opportunity to experience new instructors, choreographers, and dancers you might not otherwise have met. For most dancers, ballet summer intensives are an important annual ritual for growing in training and technique.
These programs often fly by and feel like they are over before they begin. Below are tips and advice to help make the most of your ballet summer intensive:
Pick a Program that Challenges You
Summer intensives don’t last long, so you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your experience. This means stretching your comfort zone and being open to new instructors, techniques, and dance styles that you don’t experience during your regular ballet classes. Summer intensives are a time for growth, so pick a program that will offer you just that!
Keep Your Eyes & Ears Open
During summer intensives, listen not only to the corrections you personally receive, but also the corrections given to those dancers around you. Even if the feedback is not directed at you or if you believe you’re already doing it correctly, these little budgets are gold. You never know when an instructor is going to explain something in a way that will really “click,” so keeping your eyes and ears open means you have the greatest opportunity to soak as much information in as possible.
Bring a Journal or Notepad
Summer intensives are called “intensive” for a reason. They are packed with intense training and rigorous practice. Keep a journal or notepad with you to write notes in and review those notes after each session. This will help you better retain the information while also providing you a valuable arsenal of tips to look back on to continue to apply what you learned well after the program is over.
Take Care of Yourself
Nothing can stymie progress from a summer intensive faster than an injury or illness. Take care of your body by getting plenty of rest, eating well, and staying very well hydrated. If you do sustain an injury, let your instructor know. There will still be plenty you can benefit from by attending the intensive, but you’ll want the instructors’ help in modifying how you apply the technique to care for your injury.
The ballet world is surprisingly small, and you’ll likely run into dancers you met from summer intensives long into your ballet career. Remember that relationships matter and first impressions stick. Not to mention ballet is a whole lot more fun when you enjoy the people you are dancing with!
Last but not least, remember to have fun. You are here because you love to dance and are passionate about the art. Remember, ballet is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t burn yourself out. After all, dance without joy is just exercise.
Registration is Now Open for Summer Intensives at Central Utah Ballet in Lehi, Utah. Learn more about our programs and dance camps by clicking the link below.