This is the time of year when I dream of sunshine and sandy shores. It’s also the perfect time to plan how you will keep in shape and energized during the Summer. All dancers, like all athletes (and all people, really) need to keep up with their physical activity even when on “vacation”. Andrea Marks points out in her article How to safely ease dancers back into training after vacation that “it’s true what they say about an ounce of prevention. The less fitness they lose over break, the less they’ll have to struggle to regain afterward. And while some rest and recovery is important, Julie Green, physical therapist for Pennsylvania Ballet says, “There’s no benefit to lying on the couch for four weeks.”
There are a lot of ways to keep active—outdoor activities like swimming, kayaking, biking, hiking, weight training, yoga, pilates, but of course the best way is to attend summer dance camps many of which offer scholarships. Most scholarships are awarded after scholarship auditions which often happen in January and February.
Here is a list of my favorite Summer Dance opportunities (outside of the 1/2 day and full day camp options we offer at Arts in Motion of course—stay tuned for our Summer Schedule)
Blue Lake is a great camp experience for middle school and high school aged kids. It has an old-fashioned camp feel to it – pine trees and sand. But because it is a fine arts camp the air is filled with classical music and every weekend is filled with fantastic performances by the students and top notch groups from around the world. The dance program is based in ballet technique and rounded out with Jazz and Modern teachers. Students must be entering at least 7th grade to attend. Several students from the studio have attended (including my own kids) and have really gotten a lot out of the experience.
Blue Lake accepts applications on a rolling basis, so if you’re interested get your registration forms completed and sent.
Interlochen is a longer camp experience (3 weeks compared with 2 weeks at Blue Lake) and a little more intense than Blue Lake. Interlochen is located in an equally beautiful location with fantastic dance faculty. There is both a Ballet program and a Modern Dance program. Both programs require an audition video and the deadline for this year has passed, so if this program is of interest to you, get next year’s dates on your calendar so you can prepare your audition materials ahead of time. Interlochen also offers a year-round boarding school program for the dancer who is ready for a full time dance commitment.
A summer dance experience offered by The University of Michigan for high school students which is designed to give them an idea of what a college dance program will be like. UM Dance department faculty teach the classes and it’s a great way for students to see if they might be interested in studying dance in college. This program also requires an audition (in person or video) and the deadline has passed, but keep it in mind for next year.
The Brighton Dance Festival offers a 1-3 day intensive in Modern and Contemporary Dance for dancers ages 10 and up.
A two week intensive in Contemporary Technique at Wayne State University for High School for adult dancers.
So, don’t let all the work you’ve done all year long go to waste. Make a plan for keeping in shape over the Summer months and you will see the benefits when you return to your full dance schedule in the Fall.