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As the 2021 dance season comes to a close, it’s time to shift our focus to nationals and prepping for the 2022 season. On this week’s episode of Making the Impact, Courtney and Lesley chat with IDA Judges and teachers Holly Gannett and Rachel Gentry to share insight for the summer and upcoming season.
After a full season of regionals, the expectation for dances at nationals is much higher. In theory, you’ve been rehearsing for many months, so the performance should be at a high level. It’s important that choreographers take the time to edit their dances before heading to nationals. Maybe a judge made a suggestion or maybe a dancer is still not nailing their turn sequence. Rachel suggests that instead of feeling attached to the original vision, choreographers should feel free to make changes! Holly notes, that if, for example, the á la seconde turns aren’t consistently perfect in the studio, take them out! Another great strategy that Rachel shares is to invite other teachers into the room to get fresh eyes on the piece. It’s also a great opportunity to invite studio alumni in to offer feedback.
Once nationals are over, it’s time to jump into training and choreography. Holly, Rachel, Courtney, and Lesley agree that it’s important to take a break from dancing to avoid burnout, but not for too long! Competitive dancers absolutely need to continue training, both in the studio and outside with some sort of conditioning regimen. Summer is also a great time to go back to basics--try taking a beginner ballet class! There’s always something to learn. And take advantage of school being out--perhaps use this time to further your education around dance history. There are so many resources available so use this free time to further your education--this goes for both students and teachers!
As training ramps up, so does choreography for the new season, and learning so many new dances at once can be intense! It’s important for dancers to take videos and written notes throughout the rehearsal process to ensure that they’re ready to move forward each day. It’s also critical for dancers to take care of themselves, especially during these intensive rehearsal periods: stay hydrated, eat well, and be sure to get plenty of sleep!
We at IDA hope you enjoyed the end of your competition season and that you’re heading into summer training and choreography with excitement--we can’t wait to see you on stage in 2022!