Spring has sprung, and that means end-of-year recitals for many dance students. For students attending summer programs, this is also the homestretch with your home studio before intensives kick in. Oh yeah, you’re also probably studying for academic finals. Here are some tips for not only surviving, but making the most of this busy time of year.
Think of the added stress as preparation for your summer intensive. If you take honest stock of your strengths and weaknesses now, you can set yourself up to do even better during your intensives. In what circumstances did you lose your cool/focus/energy? Maybe you were tired, needed some extra alone time to process, or should have been more organized about keeping up with your schedule. Whatever it is, pay attention to what trips you up now so you can ward it off in the future.
Be as present and prepared as possible. You never know when an opportunity might arise for a dancer who has learned every part of a production and stayed positive throughout the rehearsal and performance process. Even if a chance to perform a role doesn’t come up, teachers and directors will notice your work and dedication.
Take care of yourself! As difficult as it is to find time, prioritize your health and try to get enough sleep. Eat extra healthily and drink lots of water. Stress is a natural enemy to your immune system, so give yourself all the health benefits you can.
Take advantage of the performance opportunity! Depending on your studio or school, you might not get the chance to perform in front of audiences year-round. Bring extra focus to your artistic performance and how you project feelings to the audience. Do what you can to find inspiration and push yourself to take expressive risks.
Stay positive! Hopefully all your classwork and rehearsals lead to problem-free and gratifying performances, but sometimes things go wrong. Try to hold whatever lessons you can from any mishaps, but don’t dwell on it. Move on to your next challenge with as little drama as possible. It will be better for you and the artists around you. If you have colleagues who are struggling, offer a supportive ear or shoulder. Recitals truly take a community to pull off. Being a good team player helps all involved.
Photo: NDI New Mexico