Why Summer Break Benefits Dancers
We know a lot of dancers who would love to dance through summer break. Their drive and passion for dance often leaves them never wanting a break. However, breaks are a valuable part of any athlete’s training, including dancers. While every teacher loves a hardworking, committed dancer, they also know breaks play a very important role in a successful training plan for a dancer.
While dancers may not feel stressed, and their minds and bodies may feel strong and uninjured, a 10-month training program and a busy performance season exhausts the body and mind. Without even realizing it, dancers at this point, are in need of a break. Summer break gives dancers a time to decompress, rest their bodies and minds, and get out and have fun (away from dance!). It’s a refreshing way to gear up for a new season and come back to class in late summer and early fall ready to shine.
Reflect and Refocus
Summer break is a great time for dancers to reflect and refocus. This is a great time for dancers to journal or make mental notes on what worked well for them in the past dance season, what they were most proud of, where they felt they may have slacked off or not put in 100%, things they learned and accomplished, and what they see as their strengths and areas of improvement. From there, dancers can refocus their energy into setting new goals as dancers. This easily leads them into the next point, with a clear head and clear vision for the future.
Set New Goals
Summer is a great time to set new goals for the coming dance year. After taking time to reflect on the previous dance season, dancers can set clear and concise goals for their upcoming season, along with well laid out action plans to accomplish their goals. For example, a dancer with a goal of performing a solo may include action steps like: reviewing their old dance videos and making notes on areas they’d like to strengthen, taking additional classes during the year to improve their overall technical training, committing to practicing at home on a regular basis, and taking time over the summer to brush up on technique, performance tips, and flexibility at home through online videos and reading.
Refresh Your Training
Finally, taking a break over the summer, combined with refocusing and goal-setting, allows a dancer to come back to class with a refreshed training approach. This refresh helps keep dancers excited and passionate about dance, and most important, avoids burn out. In the end, this helps prevent overuse injuries and mental fatigue, and ensures dancers have a long and joyful journey through dance.
Now, taking a break doesn’t mean stopping everything all together. A healthy, energized, and active human is also a healthy energized, active and successful dancer. That’s why summer break is a great time for dancers to train in different ways, like cross-training with bike rides, swimming at the beach, yoga, or taking a drop in class from different teachers in different styles than they usually study. This helps keep dancers healthy and strong, both mentally and physically, while still feeling like they’re on a well-deserved break.
So get out there, refocus and refresh, set new goals, and most important, enjoy the summer!