Coming home from my summer intensive was such a letdown. How can I carry my summer inspiration into the fall? —Hailey
I remember the feeling, too. After weeks of intense dancing, exciting master teachers and new friends, it can be hard to go back home. You have to channel that inspired energy back into your regular routine. I found it helpful to write down as much as I could remember in a notebook. Give each teacher his or her own page. Include corrections, combinations or exercises that you found particularly helpful, as well as any of their catch phrases or metaphors that brought on an “aha" moment. I even drew stick-person diagrams of one teacher's turnout and arabesque exercises, illustrating all the steps. Refer back to your notebook, applying what you learned over the summer to your fall classes, and make a list of achievable goals that you'd like to reach by December. (By the way, I still have my notebook!)
If your studio is closed during the month of August, ask your teachers if it's possible to arrange some maintenance classes, or ask for permission to come in and work on your own. If there's a studio in a nearby city offering open classes, plan a few day trips to continue challenging yourself. Yoga or Pilates can help you maintain strength and flexibility.
Keep in touch with your summer intensive friends so you can continue to motivate each other. Most importantly, talk to your teachers at your home studio! Tell them what you learned over the last six weeks, what corrections you received and what you found exciting about the program. Chances are, they want to help you keep the momentum going, too.
Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt—she might answer it in an upcoming issue!