Dance can be an exhilarating and fulfilling experience, but it can also be challenging, especially for those who struggle with low self-esteem, performance anxiety, self-doubt, and pressure. If you’re a dancer who is gearing up for summer intensive season, you might be feeling nervous or uncertain about what to expect. However, with the right mindset and approach, you can have a fulfilling and transformative experience that will help you maximize your potential and become a more confident dancer. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your summer intensive:
1. Remember Why You’re There
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of summer intensives, but it’s important to remember your purpose for participating. Deep down, you’re not there to compete with other dancers or to get attention; you’re probably going in order to learn, grow, improve, and have fun. Keep the priorities in mind as you navigate the program and approach each day with a positive and open-minded attitude.
2. Make Connections
One of the biggest benefits of summer intensives is the opportunity to make connections with other dancers, teachers, and professionals in the industry. These connections can last for years and be helpful for providing different opportunities and wonderful friendships later down the road. To make connections with other dancers, start by asking them questions about themselves, even if you feel intimidated. Simple questions like “where are you from?” or “where do you train?” and “how do you like it there?” can get the conversation started. Remember that other dancers are also nervous and intimidated, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. When making connections with teachers, simply present yourself as a student with a positive attitude, a good work ethic, and someone who is great to work with.
3. Take Notes
Summer intensives often offer world-class instruction and valuable insights that can help you improve and grow as a dancer. To make the most of your experience, bring a notebook and take notes on corrections, explanations for steps, and any other insights you find helpful. Reviewing your notes regularly will help you stay focused and committed to your goals.
4. Identify Your Goals
Before you start your summer intensive, take some time to identify what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to focus on a specific technique or style? Do you want to make new friends? Do you want to be invited to train at the school year-round? Whatever your goals, make sure they are specific, achievable, and focused on elements that are within your control. This will help you stay motivated and make the most of your time.
5. Be Open-Minded
No two summer intensives are the same, and you may encounter different teaching styles, approaches, and philosophies. It’s important to be open-minded and adaptable, even if you’re used to a particular style or approach. Remember that you’re there to learn and grow and that different methods may bring out new insights and perspectives.
6. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
It’s natural to compare yourself to others, but it’s important to remember that every dancer has their own journey and path. Don’t get intimidated by others or think that they are much better than you. Focus on your own progress and growth, and celebrate your achievements no matter how small they may seem.
Summer intensives can be a transformative and fulfilling experience for any dancer. By approaching it with a positive and open-minded mindset, identifying your goals, making connections, and being proactive, you can maximize your potential and become a more confident and skilled dancer. Remember to celebrate your progress and growth and to enjoy every moment of the journey.
To explore for tips on how to create a fulfilling summer intensive experience, head to The Confident Dancer YouTube channel to watch “How to Get THE MOST Out of Your Ballet Summer Intensive Experience”.
Want to thrive as a dancer both in your mental well-being and your ability to perform at your highest potential? The Confident Dancer Coaching Program is a mindset coaching program designed to help dancers build a healthy mindset to consistently feel and perform their best. This program has helped many dancers I’ve worked with overcome their mental struggles and achieve their career goals. Head over to The Confident Dancer Coaching page to schedule a free 30-minute consultation call to see if this program might be perfect for you.
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Photos by Jana Carson Photography