#1. Summer Intensives. This is pretty obvious, but essential. There are some awesome summer intensive programs for dancers of all ages out there – make the most of the opportunities! Make sure you really investigate, so that you choose the best fit for you.
#2. Open studio classes. If your studio does not provide open classes throughout the summer, check with surrounding studios. It’s never a bad thing to branch out and take from as many different types of teachers as possible. All teachers will focus on different areas and give valuable, varied feedback that can help you.
#3. Yoga or Pilates classes. Yoga and Pilates are both so beneficial for dancers. They help build strength and flexibility as well as clarity of mind and focus. Now’s the time to try out some classes.
#4. Stretch at home. Now that it’s warmer, it’s safer and easier to really work on your flexibility. And during the summer break there’s ample time in the day to stretch. Stretch while you’re watching TV and sit in a split, butterfly or frog while reading a book. Make sure you are doing stretches you’re comfortable with, though, and don’t hold them too long. No need to go overboard and pull something.
#5. Lift weights. You can do this at the gym, or at home if you have them. If you’re trying to tone muscle, you should use low weights, but do more reps. For building muscle, use higher weight, and do less reps.
#6. Walk/Run. Walking your dog is a great way to stay in shape. When running or walking, make sure you are wearing proper footwear. The last thing you need to develop over the summer are shin splints from wearing the wrong kind of shoe.
#7. Swim. Swimming is an excellent way of staying in dance shape. Swimming is great way to get cardio in without putting any pressure on your bones and muscles. It can also be an awesome way to exercise if you are doctoring an injury.
#8. Choreograph dances with friends. This is always fun! Choreographing a dance and then showing it to family and friends is an ideal way of staying in shape for dancers, both physically and artistically.
#9. Journal your goals. Now’s a great time to think about your goals for the upcoming new school year, and to write them down. Tell your mom, dance teacher, or dance friends your aims for the year so they can help to keep you accountable and on track. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything! Setting goals now, right at the start of the summer break, will help you to keep focused and in shape over these next few months.
#10. Create a nutrition plan and stick to it! I know…it’s a lot easier said than done. Eating well over the summer is so tough…especially when you have birthday parties and tons of fun things going on. Obviously, you can eat the cake, but try to think ‘moderation, moderation, moderation’, because you don’t want all of that cake catching up with you when the dance season starts again.
#11. Get enough sleep. This is also tough. SLEEPOVERS! They’re so exciting and fun! But don’t be that person that stays up every night of summer until 3:00am. Your body needs rest in order to remain in shape.
#12. Get outdoors. In the beautiful summer weather, this is an easy way to stay in shape. Go hiking, explore different trails and waterfalls, and go outside. Less Netflix…more sun! (with sunscreen of course)
By Allison Gupton of Dance Informa.