Preparation for Summer Intensive can be a somewhat daunting task. Not only
do you have to worry about common items; such as clothes, toiletries, and detergent
for laundry, but you also have to make sure you have everything you need for a
successful dancing day. Over the years I have accumulated a must have list of items
that are the first 5 things that get put in my suitcase when I pack for the summer.
Hopefully this will help with your packing and will make your summer experience a
more enjoyable one.
Since you are going to be doing a whole lot more dancing than your body is used to,
you will probably experience some aches and pains during the first week or so. Do
not panic, this is perfectly normal. After so much dancing our bodies tend to get
pretty stressed out. One of my tactics for combatting these pains is to help
strengthen my muscles. There are so many exercises you can do to help strengthen
your feet, your rotators, your inner thighs, pretty much anything with your thera-
band. This will help your body accumulate faster and will make the aches and pains
2. Tennis ball
After doing so many exercises with your thera-band and dancing all day, your
muscles will definitely need to chill out. Rolling out with a tennis ball after a long
day of dance can prevent cramps and soreness the next day. It’s so easy to just sit on
a tennis ball to release your hip while your watching some TV or chilling with your
roommates. One of my favorite things to do is to put two tennis balls in a sock and to
give yourself a spine massage. It may hurt a lot while your doing it, like a lot, but
your muscles will thank you the next day.
3. Ice packs
Summer intensives are very intense by definition. Your days will probably include
more hours on pointe than your toes are used to. One of my favorite techniques for
combatting swollen feet and aching toes is to keep some ice packs at the dorm to ice
your feet with at night. Some people choose to put their feet in ice buckets for the
same effect. But since that makes me cry like a baby most of the time, I use ice packs
as a gentler alternative.
4. Water bottle
Wherever you are going for the summer, whether the middle of the country or the
east coast, your going to want to stay super hydrated. Your water bottle will be your
best friend. Whether you are going to class or out on an activity on the weekend, you
will want to bring your water bottle with you everywhere. Most studios are
equipped with water fountains where you can refill your bottle so I suggest not
bringing a giant one, that way its easier to carry around with you.
5. Warm ups
One of my favorite things to do during a summer intensive is to get to the studios
early before my first class of the day. This gives you time to hang out with your
friends, stretch, and prepare for the day. While your walking around the studios or
stretching you’re going to want to have things to throw on over your leotard and
tights. A sweater, some sweats, a jacket, a pair of socks, pretty much anything works
just make sure that it will keep your muscles warm.
Over the years I have learned these techniques from older dancers so I hope that by
imparting this knowledge onto you, your summer experience will be better for it. I
hope this helps make your summers amazing and happy dancing!