How to Prepare for Dance Camps
Dance camps, or intensive dance programs, are a great way to hone your technique and advance your training in a short period of time. Dance camps will expose you to new teachers with different teaching styles and perspectives on technique, other dancers you don’t normally train with, and enriching choreography and cultural opportunities. At a dance camp, you immerse yourself into extended hours at the studio. By spending more time than your usual once a week, one-hour long ballet class at the studio, dance camps present a wonderful opportunity for you to zoom in on your dance training and conditioning.
However, with the more intense schedules dance camps provide, it can put you at a higher risk of injury and burnout. Having a plan to safely transition from your regular dance schedule to dance camp mode can help to make sure that you stay happy, healthy and are ready to shine at camp!
Try not to take time off before the dance camp. As dance camps’ schedules are more demanding, it is advised to be in shape in order to dance at your very best from the start. Furthermore, the better shape you are in, the less prone to injury you will be. If you arrive at your dance camp without having taken a class or exercised in a while, then chances for injury are higher from going from couch potato to intensive dance training of 2-3 classes a day.
Easy exercise options can be done right at home.
Try mat pilates or ballet conditioning exercises, such as the PBT program to keep yourself fit. Read our blog post on 4 Ballet Conditioning Exercises You Can Do at Home to get yourself started.
Due to dance camps’ intensive nature, this presents a perfect opportunity for improvement at an accelerated rate. However, improvement will not happen if you do not set goals for yourself.
The week before your dance camp, think about what you want to personally achieve throughout the camp, and write it down! Remember, goals should be specific, realistic and attainable. Saying just “get better” is not a good goal. “Landing a triple pirouette” when you can barely do a single is also not a realistic goal. Think about things you can improve on of your technique, such as higher extension, beats for jumps, and more fluid port de bras, and point out what specifically of that you want to achieve.
A great way to track the progress of your goals is journaling. Bring a notebook to camp so you can write down notes from class, your corrections, questions, and accomplishments. Taking a moment to document your journey at camp will help you reflect on each day and review how you felt in class. This can help you figure out what has been working in class and what hasn’t. Journaling every day will help you move in positive steps towards completing your goal by the end of camp.
Eat Well & Hydrate
It is extremely important to eat and drink healthy during camp. Dancing for more hours can increase your appetite more than you are used to, and it is easy to indulge in unhealthy snacks to compensate. Eating healthy food is essential to fuel your body for a long day of dancing; sweets and snacks full of sugar and salt will only make you feel more tired and drained at the end of the dance day. In addition, be sure to drink lots of water to hydrate your body! During breaks in and between classes, have a bottle of water handy. Water will keep your body energized and in top shape during camp.
Try New Things!
Dance camps present a unique opportunity to try new styles of dance you may not do usually or have much experience in. Enter that hip hop or Latin dance class with an open mind and get out of your comfort zone. Trying other dance styles can be fun and will give you greater body awareness by moving in a different manner. This will help you become a more well-rounded dancer as these other techniques will add to your skillset and strengthen your ballet foundation.
Sign up for our 2019 December Dance Camp today!
Deadline for registration: 15 Nov 2019.
Learn more and sign up for our 2019 December Dance Camp.