With the dance studio season having just ended, it’s time to “roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”…and in the dance world there’s summer study, in particular.
So, then the question becomes, “Why dance this summer?” What are the benefits of continuing to dance and not taking time off? In preparation for the “Dance In New York City: One-day Intensive” on Sunday July 25, 2021, I couldn’t help but recall a conversation I had with some dance professionals about this very thing. I gathered a few colleagues -- a working dancer/choreographer, a competition studio director, and a dance studio owner to offer their expert opinion.
Here’s what they had to say:
REASON #1: Taking the summer off means resuming in the fall from three steps behind
From the competition perspective, Adrienne Kellett believes that dancers who do not continue to take classes over the summer have a hard time getting back into it and potentially can become lazy. Kellett is competition director for Throw Down Dance Challenge.
“It's undoing what has already been accomplished,” Kellett said. “I also feel that it takes a good three months for the dancer to get back to the level they were already at. A serious student should dance year-round and take as many classes as possible.”
REASON #2: Dancers can grab the extended time and concentrate on more intricate things
“During the summertime, most kids are stress-free and when they get into dance they focus on just DANCE.” That’s according to Stefanie Salaman, studio director at Performers Edge Dance Academy, Bronx NY.
“With that being said, dancers tend to concentrate on the more intricate things - like closing their rib cage, working on a higher relevé and working their flexibility to have a correctly placed battement. These elements are all worked on throughout the season, however summer classes will help to make the dancer really understand their body.”
REASON #3: These experiences provide the opportunity for growth, beyond just dance
“Training during the summer,” said Salaman, “whether through workshops, weekly class, intensives or camps, is highly recommended in my studio because it always produces positive results and helps each individual become a better person, as well as a better dancer. Intensives and workshops that provide a positive atmosphere teach dancers not only to dance, but also to be independent and ready for the professional dance world.”
REASON #4: Training in the summer confirms that being a dancer is part of your lifestyle
“The summer is time for sun, fun, and vacation...and for dance! Being a dancer is a lifestyle, and incorporating your training during these months is vital to maintaining all the technique you worked so hard for during the year.” Who would know better than Karla Garcia, a professional dancer, a Season 5 finalist on TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance”, former cast member of Broadway’s Hamilton, and faculty member at Broadway Dance Center.
“It's also important for returning to your studio in the fall. You'll find it easier and smoother to get back into a full dance schedule.”
REASON #5: Dance is just plain “Hot Fun in the Summertime”
“On top of everything else, summer dance is so much fun!” Garcia continued. “Meeting new people at intensives and getting to take class outside your studio with other dancers and from different teachers from around the country is all a part of your growth as an artist. By the end of the summer, you will be so INSPIRED to return full force in the fall.”
"This event is an ideal summer dance opportunity that can easily fit into the schedule of those who are already planning to train consistently this summer, and for those just looking for an affordable, one-time dance experience with quality instructors,” said Jason Warley, CEO of Man In Motion and the creator of Dance In New York City.
The “Dance In New York City: One-Day Intensive” will feature master classes offered at two different skill levels: intermediate/advanced for ages 13-19, and beginner/intermediate for ages 9-12. Faculty includes, Justin Wingenroth, Lukasz Zieba, Phil Solomon, Estefano Gil, and Brent McBeth.
"This event doubles as both a great dance opportunity and an excuse to spend a summer day in the heart of New York City,” Warley said.