In our previous post, we spoke about you can prepare for and make the most of a summer dance intensive. Dance intensives are usually conducted in summer when you are free from classes and have a few weeks to sharpen some of those dance skills. They contribute to a dancer's growth and development, give unparalleled opportunities to meet other students from all over the country and work and observe master teachers. All in all, it is a terrific experience.
To enjoy this experience, you need to go into the program with the right tools and supplies. Knowing you have everything you need to make the most of this once in a lifetime (for many) opportunities and focus on your intensive can alleviate some of the nerves that have a natural tendency to intermingle with your excitement.
Whether you are heading to an intensive or getting about town to catch a rehearsal or a performance or just to that gym and Pilates class, we bring you tips and tricks that will keep you fresh on sizzling summer dance days.
1. Maintain an Optimum Temperature at The Studio
Temperatures and humidity soar during the summer season and given the level of physical activity you will be involved in, a dance studio or rehearsal hall can mimic that of a sauna! Sweating is the body's cooling mechanism, but you can still enjoy regulated environment air conditioning provides (unless you are particularly sensitive to ac of course).
A dance studio cooled to a temperature between 65 and 70 degrees is ideal or go for something that has the group consensus. Resist cranking up the AC to frigid levels as you need to keep your body warm to increase blood flow to the muscles.
2. Get your Supplies in Place
It is all about preparation and here are eight critical items that you have to find a place in your dance bag in the summer.
- Emergency Kit - a just in case essentials kit having nail clippers, painkillers like Advil, needle, and thread, etc. will not only save your life but make your immensely popular among your new friends!
- Water - With classes running into 4 to 6 hours a day, water and most importantly filled up water bottles should feature in your daily class bag. While it seems possible, the classes can get pretty intense and with new people around you-you may relegate this vital bit too until later. Put reminders on your phone, start your break with water and find some cute bottles that you tote in style. In other words, do whatever it takes to stay hydrated!
- Strategic Snacks - Avoid high-fat and protein-heavy meals before your summer dance class as the effort of digesting such foods raises your body temperature. Remember that in a summer dance intensive you are on your own, and the onus of packing healthy portable snacks like like almonds, apples, Greek yogurt, carrots, peanut butter, bananas, and blueberries are on you. Find out where you get quality produce and stock up where ever you are staying- be it a dorm or a host home. Pack your bag the previous night or wake up early and prep your snack boxes. The effort will be worth it and with your blood sugar still up you will not be flagged by the time you get home.
- Bring Down Your Body Temp - Nothing calls more for a bit of pampering and luxury than the time spent at a dance intensive. If friends or relatives want to gift you before you leave for a dance intensive programme, you would be smart to ask for something like the Dance Apothecary setor a cooling neck wrap. They are fabulous for restoring that sense of calm to an overheated body. If you do not have these, place something cold on your pulse points to bring down your body temperature. Run cold water over the inside of your wrist or store a damp cloth in the freezer that you can grab on the go to the dance class.
- Warm-Up Tools - When you are away from your familiar routines, you tend to skip essential routines, like those of warm up and cool down. You will need them more than ever, what with the sore and tired muscles. Don't let that happen by bringing along your tried and tested warm up or cool down tools with you each day. Favorite tools for dancers include Thera-Bands, foam rollers, and tennis balls.
- Scented Sachet - Dance intensives are notorious for hardly giving a break in day-long sessions and classes. Storing multiple bags of used clothes with barely a chance to air it out is a sure recipe for a stinky bag. Throw a scented sachet, like a Scentsy Pak, into your bag, and save yourself from any embarrassment this summer.
- Sweat Towel - They call them intensives for nothing: If you're working right, you'll be sweating by the time pliés are over in the morning! Take a towel to class and avoid feeling disgusting all day long.
- Name Tag - Try to visualize this - you are in a vast dance studio, and all of you are new to each other. Your cherished mentors who you came to observe from halfway across the country (in all probability) are going to be working with you up close and personal. If you are serious about leaving an impression with the director of that company you are eager to join or just plain interested in widening your network with more dance folks, you'd be smart to use that name tag you got at the time of registration.
3. Extra Clothes and Shoes
A summer dance intensive is not the time to pack lean bags. Prepare to carry a large suitcase because you will need to be read for a variety of unexpected schedules and routines. Being out of home could also mean not having daily access to a washer and dryer, and with your kind of schedule, you will not have the energy to be doing regular washing anyway.
Leotards: Plan to have at least one per day. Check on the website of the program to see if colors or styles have been specified. A dance intensive is not the time to try any for the very first time and do bring the favorites that make you feel confident!
Tights: Carry several pairs of tights in colors like black and pink, Given the humidity and heat, you will appreciate having a fresh pair to change midway through the day. If they are not new, make sure they are free of stains, holes, etc.
Wrap Skirts are versatile and can give a bit of coverage when required (again, check the programme guide and see if the dress code mentions specific colors)
Character Skirt: if you will be taking character classes
Pointe Shoes: Plan on taking several pairs and wear them in so you can save time at the dance intensive. Carrying several pairs make sense if the intensive is especially for advanced pointe classes where they will wear out quicker in the summer humidity. Having many pairs will allow you to rotate them to let them rest and re-harden.
Other dance shoes: Ensure you are carrying the right shoes for your classes - jazz for jazz and lyrical, ballet shoes or slippers for ballet classes, tap, character, etc.
Here is our Suggested Packing List
- Hip Alignment belt
- Manicure/Pedicure tools
- First Aid kit: Icy Hot or other sore muscle ointment, band-aids, ace bandage, quick ice pack, heating pad
- Sewing kit ( running out to get spares of anything will be next to impossible)
- Dance bag ( the ones with wheels work well when your bag is heavy)
- Water bottle(carry at least two)
- Resistance bands ( so you don't have to rely on the studio or school to provide)
- Music playing device and headphones (include chargers)
- Power bars and other healthy snacks (if you prefer, you could make a batch of homemade bars before leaving for your programme)
- Laundry detergent: handwashing, or regular, depending on facilities (you could buy this after arriving too)
- Yoga or a Pilates Mat
- Toe tape, toe separators, gel toes, toe pads, and other point shoe accessories (trust us on this, you will need them so don't feel shy about using them!)
- Drying rack (or cording to dry your hand-washables)
- Make-up (for performances and every day, find ones suitable for hot weather)
- Toiletries -carry travel sized packs or just enough for the duration of the intensive; don't forget a shower bucket or hanging case to transport them
- Towels - have a backup and two small ones that you can carry with you to the studio
- Notebook - you are going to be cramming information in like never before. It would be nice not to have to rely on memory alone in the quiet minutes before the frenzy begins each day
- A craft activity like knitting, playing cards, something quiet to do after curfew or in between classes to wind down.
- The most comfortable walking shoes you own
Fashion Forward Summer Dancewear
Athleisure is perfect for summer, tried and tested to keep you cool and give your body the breathing room that it needs. When it's hot and humid, dancers need to choose well-ventilated, sweat-wicking gear. Avoid garments that have rubber-based or plastic-based materials, this can keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature high during your dance class.
Dancing is all about getting the right form. With smart features and flattering fits, we bring you some aspects of dancewear that will be perfect for not just the studio, but for a run at the beach in the morning or a session at the gym. They will even fit right at home for those after-class hangouts.
Geometric Designs -
If you're looking for enhanced striking lines to emphasize your assets and enhance your best features, then Geometric designs are the way to go. Sleek tops are slimming yet comfortable. Crafted with top-quality Italian cotton-soft fabrics, they feel just as amazing as they look.
Pair them with leggings that have side panels, or ones with super trendy mesh detail that accentuates your assets while giving you a chic athleisure look that you won't want to take off.
Asymmetric Tops -
are all the rage this summer. A dual tone top with a classic crew neckline will beautifully accentuate your face and shoulders. Pair it with a two-color eye-catcher will give you a one of a kind look at dance rehearsals during the summer months. Super soft, super stretchy and super sleek are their USP.
Bold color combinations -
Bold colors aren't just what you wear – they are a fashion statement. When showcasing bold and bright, you're announcing you're here. Swap boring colored leotards for bright summer shades. Add to the colors, gorgeous back details, and flattering shapes, and you will be arriving at rehearsals in style.
Summer dance intensives can be life-altering. Get your information and supplies in place and make it a memory to cherish. We wish you a fantastic summer dance season!