Get Ready for Your Summer Dance Program

April is here! Easter is just a few days away. The end of the year rush is about to begin which means that summer dance programs are just around the corner. Most of you have solidified your decisions of where to attend, but if you have not, there is no time like the present!

Whether this is your first time studying away from home or you’ve been away several summers, here are some things for parents and kids to think about.

  1. Clothing. Check the program’s dress code. Is there a uniform to purchase? What about character skirts? How many sets of leotards and tights will you need? And more realistically, how many can you really pack? If you’ve never done laundry before, now is the time to start practicing. You’ll want to make sure that you’re always prepared with fresh street clothing and dance wear.

  2. Shoes. Even if you are at a ballet intensive, you may need jazz shoes! Don’t wait until the last minute to review the technique classes that a program offers. Bring every possible style of shoe for every possible technique that may be offered. Plan ahead for the number of pointe shoe pairs you may need, if applicable.

  3. Food. Submit your dietary restrictions with dorm and cafeteria staff when required. At home, talk through what healthy eating looks like over the course of a day. Don’t skip meals and don’t get caught up in the smorgasbord of dorm style meals. You may also want to think about keeping some non-perishable favorites in your room for snacking or that rare rushed morning!

  4. Money. More than likely you’ll have a prepaid card or debit card for weekend trips and activities, souvenirs— possibly even transportation depending on the program. Otherwise, the majority of your expenses are likely included in the program costs. Begin thinking about your summer incidentals and activities budget now, even as you finish making tuition and room and board payments.

In May, you’ll look into stocking up on toiletries and other necessities. Most programs will provide an information list at least a month ahead of your arrival.

I attended my first 4-week summer program, American Dance Festival, as a 12 year old. I look back on summer intensives as a time when I grew as a performer and as a person. I loved taking on new responsibilities! Planning now can make this process really enjoyable. You will be prepared to take on the challenge of your intensive rather than worrying about the items you’ve forgotten!


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