We have summer on the mind here at the studio, and as it approaches, we know that dancers turn to many elements of their careers. Summer traditionally represents a point of transition, rest, and exploration as an artist, and for dancers especially, these coming months are the perfect opportunity to find your focus. For many, summer intensives, workshops, or even short-term contracts open the doors to the different styles of dance. Even as classically trained ballet dancers, it’s no longer enough to be able to do a technically clean barre or hit those 32 fouettés . And for those preparing to enter a professional contract come Fall, or are just on hiatus form their season, incorporating a change of pace or a new point of focus can set you up ready to take on the Fall.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still time before Summer hits, so until then, what can you do to prepare for the new season?
Start thinking ahead to what goals you have for the summer. Do you want to develop more strength? Up your stamina? Improve your aptitude in a certain technique? Actually relax? Travel? Refresh your marketing strategy? Consider what you not only want to accomplish but what you need to do to accomplish it.
Prepare your mindset. Especially if you are facing a summer taking on a new role, trying a different style, or expanding your rep. If you’re facing a workshop or a professional intensive where you will be increasing the amount of contemporary work, jump the gun and build up your itinerary of modern or contemporary in anticipation. Add in classes, collaborate with the other dancers you work with, hone technical components that might serve you well when it comes to taking on something new.
Increase your stamina. No matter what you’re up against, the new season always means a change of pace, so develop your cardio and get your body comfortable with long hours, different styles and approaches to movement, etc. Besides, you’ll be able to break through walls to new heights in your dancing, setting yourself up for success come Fall.
Do your research. Who are you going to be working with? What repertoire are you going to be learning? What networking opportunities will you have this summer? Use your resources and take advantage of opportunities leading up to, and during, the summer.
There’s a reason why they say work smarter not harder. Keep a close eye on your body; how it’s feeling and responding to how you are working. Take some time to focus on your technique and work slow and steady. Don’t force anything, and instead, do a check-in.