Dancers spend their whole year anticipating Dance Summer Programs: the auditions, the excitement, the new friends. But have you started your packing list? Here are five must-haves that you will want to make sure you have in your dance bag:
Though cell-phones these days can accommodate our random thoughts at any moment, you should still consider bringing a good old-fashioned note pad with you. You are about to embark on a journey that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you want to make sure that you get the most out of it. Information is about to be thrown at you left and right, and it is your responsibility to soak it all up and put your new knowledge to work.
Research shows that one of the best way to remember new information, is by the action of writing it down on paper. By bringing a notebook to the studios, you can quickly jot down corrections or choreography whenever you have a free moment. This way, all the information is available for you to refer back to the next day, or even over the next year. You are getting the opportunity to learn from very special people, and who knows, someday you may even have the opportunity to pass that knowledge on to the next generation.
2. Your Favorite Leotards
This may seem like an obvious one, but you know the saying, “Dress for success”? Why wouldn’t this apply to ballet as well? When you feel good in class, your confidence is higher, you are able to work harder, and you are able to focus on what really matters, instead of how you feel. So, throw that hair in a nice tight bun and flaunt your favorite color. We can help you find exactly what you need, or we could even send you a new leotard every month!
3. An Open Mind
You choose this summer intensive in order to try something different: something challenging. In order to take full advantage of your new environment, be open-minded! The teachers and students have so much to offer you, so embrace it. If you don’t like the style, or the corrections, you can pick and choose what you want to take with you down the road. But for now, remember that every lesson allows you an opportunity to understand ballet and dance a little better.
4. Your Work Ethic
That work ethic that brought you to this point, don’t forget to pack it and let your teachers see it. Contrary to what you may think, teachers in these programs aren’t drawn to the most talented dancer in the room, they are often drawn to those who prove potential by willing to work for it. You can do quadruple pirouettes for days, but if you don’t work hard to perfect the weaknesses in your technique, a teacher can only help so much.
Teachers love when they can see students applying corrections. It illustrates that a dancer respects them and wants to learn from them. This is where your notebook comes into play. With the help of that visual aid, you will be able to remember corrections from day to day, and be able to put them to work for your body.
You are about to meet a lot of new people, who are likely good dancers. But remember, you got into this summer course too! They picked you! The school saw something in you that they want to nourish and expand on. You are walking into the studio on a level playing field. You are all there for the same reason; each as deserving of this opportunity. Embrace the dancers around you; you may never know, they could become life long friends.
With these five things in your suitcase, you’re so ready to conquer your SI!
Where are you going this summer? What are you most looking forward to? Do you have any questions about what to expect? Leave a comment below and our new blog editor, Rebecca King Ferraro, dancer with Miami City Ballet, will answer all of your questions!