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5 Must-Have Summer Dance Intensive Essentials

Posted May 9, 2023

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to leap into your Summer Intensive at The Ailey School. Being prepared is key to success, so we’ve compiled five summer intensive dance essentials you need to help you make this training experience your best yet. 

1. Your Notebook

Yes, dance is about moving your body, but it’s always good to jot down some notes about the work you’re learning. Technique classes help you build a solid foundation in proper and safe movement, so write down anything you need to remember or want to work on at a later time. Be sure to note any corrections and feedback you get from your instructors so you can revisit them outside the classroom setting. Journaling is also a great way to monitor your progress. 

2. Healthy Snacks

Running from class to class, you may be tempted to grab a quick snack that’s not the healthiest choice or even worse, forget to eat altogether! It’s important to fuel your body when you are pushing yourself in class. Keep easy, portable healthy snacks in your bag like turkey lettuce wraps, apples and nuts, string cheese and crackers, and pretzels and yogurt, just to name a few.  

3. Regular Hydration 

Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and to keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood, which means you’ll be alert and ready for your classes. 

4. Extra Dance Wear

It’s always a good idea to have extra dance clothes on hand. Bring layers to keep your muscles warm in between classes. You may want to change at the end of the day, so you aren’t heading home in sweaty dance gear. Make sure you have all the proper footwear you need for every type of class and supportive shoes for walking the streets of NYC 

5. An Open Mind

Summer programs are wonderful because you get the opportunity to train with new instructors and may experience a new dance technique for the first time. Instructors each have their own perspective and sometimes what they say makes sense right away. But if something doesn’t, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re there to learn, so curiosity and an open mind will help you gain as much knowledge as possible.  

Students of The Ailey School Professional Division. Photo by Nir Arieli

Students of The Ailey School Professional Division. Photo by Nir Arieli.

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