How to stand out at summer intensives

Spring is in the air and that means summer break is right around the corner.  And with summer break comes summer intensives!  We love summer intensives for the opportunity to travel to a new city or studio, train professionally with master teachers and choreographers, and meet life-long friends from around the world.  But the word intensive is no lie.  These many-week-long workshops are just that—intense!  While a summer intensive might seem like “summer camp,” remember that you’ll be dancing for hours each day, learning new styles, technique, and choreography that will probably feel outside your comfort zone.  Don’t let this intimidate you.  Step up to the challenge so you can get the most out of your summer intensive.  Here is our advice on how to stand out at summer intensives:

Dress the part.  Some ballet intensives require dancers to wear black leotards and pink tights every day.  But if you’re going to a program with a more flexible dress code, take advantage of it! Stand out in a bright-colored crop top or a leotard with an intricate back.  Remember to always look professional and put together.  Style your hair slicked back and only keep your baggy warm-ups on for the very beginning of class.  Check out some of these awesome styles!

Remember it’s more than “camp.” Summer intensives are just that—intense.  It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends and have fun, of course.  But be careful not to let the social aspect get in the way of your training.  Prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night and never goof off with your friends during class.

Do the prep-work.  Make sure you’re still taking class and training your body (and mind) in the weeks before your intensive.  Coming in “cold” can lead to exhaustion and overuse injuries like muscle cramps and shin splints.  Pack physical therapy tools that can quicken recovery and keep you dancing your best—blister Band-Aids, Tiger Balm, a foam roller or lacrosse ball, etc.

Learn as much as you can.  No matter where you’re doing your summer intensive, you’re likely training under incredible teachers and with a whole new group of dancers.  Take advantage of every learning opportunity.  Remember, too, that there’s a lot to learn from just listening to your teacher and watching your peers.  Keep a journal so you can jot down the feedback you receive and other memorable experiences.

Now that you’re prepped and ready to rock your summer intensives, we want to hear where you’re headed this summer.  Share with us what summer intensives you’re going to in the comments section below.


One reply to “How to stand out at summer intensives

  1. I completely agree, the ability to ‘stand out’ at an audition is certainly a skill- it’s exactly the same in an audition room too. On my site, I also wrote about the importance of wearing bright, eye-catching clothing, but a audition setting – it definitely seems that teachers latch onto the dancers that are wearing something a little bit different. I recently attended a workshop with a choreographer, dressed in an orange top. Later that evening, I was contacted by the choreographer saying ‘Was it you wearing that orange top?’. Since then, I have been invited along to an audition with him, and its all down to him remembering my orange top!

    Amazing blog, thank you 🙂



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