As we approach mid-June and year-round programs come to a close, it is time to begin thinking about and preparing for summer intensives. For example, my summer course at Ballet Chicago starts in only 2 weeks!
These couple weeks before the workload gets really heavy are vital to your success and improvement this summer. It is important to start up a more rigorous cross-training routine (which I gave you more details on last week). Meanwhile, you can also start to prepare mentally.
Summer programs are a great time to work on your weaknesses. You can practice freely without worrying about being seen by teachers or directors that make important casting decisions. These programs serve as a “clean slate” to work on your technique, and then come back to your company or year-round program as a more polished and consistent dancer.
Using a journal to help organize your thoughts and goals for the summer can help a lot. I recommend writing down the following steps on a blank piece of paper to set a template for your work this summer:
- Write down your weaknesses. What do you want to work on most in your dancing?
- What kind of help are you looking for in regards to these weaknesses/problems? Is this something you can tackle at the gym or with a selection of targeted exercises, or do you need a teacher’s help?
- Make a plan to receive this help. For example, schedule a private lesson, set up a system to record helpful corrections from your classes, or create an organized gym routine that targets specific weaknesses.
- What tools do you need along the way? These don’t have to be physical objects…do you need motivation? A support system of friends? A helpful teacher? Different pointe shoes? Figure out what you need to help you along the way, and try your best to get these tools.
Once you have your template for improving on hand, you can go to your summer program prepared and purposefully.
Now that you’ve organized your thoughts, it’s time to get packing. Subscribe to make sure you are the first to see next week’s post, complete with a packing checklist, just in time for your final summer program prep!