Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Jr. Company Blog | 0 comments

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.


1. Thera-band

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

go away.


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!


~Melanie Z.