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How to still have a great summer during the time of Covid

 In Getting the Most Out of Class

Contributed by Jennifer Howard, Director of Summer Programs

Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about summer programs. With so many options, choosing the right program is already difficult, and in these uncertain times, the decision is even more complex. Everyone – students, parents, teachers, and directors – is asking the same question: will classes be in the studio? Although taking class online is definitely better than no class, everyone is ready to get back in the studio. Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball, and no one knows the answer to that question. Considering all that we don’t know, here are a few things we do know about how to make the most of your summer and what you should consider when choosing a program. 

Look for a smaller program

Since there are no guarantees this summer about where classes will be held, it is even more important to look for a smaller program where you can get individualized attention. You want to avoid being one of 40 dancers in a Zoom class. Even in a non-pandemic summer, smaller programs provide environments for dancers’ individual needs to be more effectively met. In addition, these smaller programs give dancers an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with teachers and choreographers, which helps in tailoring specific feedback for each dancer, and also adds a mentorship component to the experience. 

Look for a program with different course offerings

The summer is a great time to try out new teachers, styles, and techniques. Look for a program that is different in scope and classes than your current school. Serious dancers need to be able to fluidly move between different styles and techniques, so it is important to seek out diverse technique training and look for programs that aim to educate “the whole dancer.” Anatomy, Kinesiology, Conditioning, Dance History and Somatic Awareness are some examples of classes to look for. 

Do your research and bring a notebook 

Before you embark on your summer program, make sure you do your research on the teachers and choreographers you will be training with. Understanding their background, the companies they danced with, and the techniques they teach will give you better context, and you will have a more engaged experience with them. Libraries and Youtube are great resources, as well as JSTOR, which has a wonderful selection of articles on all art disciplines and you can log-on through most school libraries. Lastly, remember to always bring a notebook to class! 

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