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5 Ways to Build on the Progress You Made at Your Summer Intensive

Summer is almost at an end. And for dancers, that can mean the onset of PSIS: Post-Summer Intensive Sadness. We learn so much during our weeks away in dance wonderland that it's no surprise we feel a bit let down once we're back home. How can you maintain the training momentum you built at your intensive? Here's how to keep the bliss of summer sessions going in the new season.

1. Keep Your Connections

Besties for the resties? Whether your summer study involved a three-day dance festival, a five-week long program, or a weekend at Nationals, odds are you made some great dance friends. By this point, you might already have a Snapchat streak going with your new ballet bestie or an inside-joke-filled text chain with your SI roommate who lives across the country. Just because this summer is over doesn't mean your new friendships have to be. It's not only fun, but also smart to stay in touch—because the two of you might end up dancing a duet professionally one day, like these pros.

And don't forget your teachers. Summer intensives allow you to interact with some of dance's greatest choreographers, directors, and instructors. Keep in respectable contact with them by sending a thank-you message or taking a class of theirs in the future. The dance world is all about connections, so it's beneficial to build mentor-like relationships with teachers or professional dancers you admire.

2. Carry Out the Corrections

By the end of your summer dance experience, hopefully you've soaked up all the corrections teachers gave you specifically, and also their advice for other dancers. We all know the importance of taking corrections well. Bring those helpful critiques back to classes at your home studio.

3. Write It, Read It, Repeat It

After a summer spent taking in great information, it's important not to forget everything you learned during the busy first weeks of the school year. Get out a journal and jot down details from your favorite classes and most challenging rehearsal experiences. Include reasons you're thankful for choosing the dance program(s) you did. Even throwback photo posts on social media will help you remember all you learned.

4. Say Goodbye to Your Former Dance Self

It can be easy to slip back into old ways of doing things when you return to your home studio. But remember how much you've matured (personally and artistically) over the summer, and resist the temptation to resume any bad habits. Write down a list of goals for how you can keep growing, and check in with yourself periodically to see how you're reaching them.

5. Continue in Confidence

Be proud of yourself! Making it through a summer intensive of any kind is challenging—even if it's ultimately the best part of your summer. You stepped out of your comfort zone, made new friends, and honored your talent by growing in technique and artistry. Hopefully, this instilled a new confidence in you. Carry that self-assurance back to school, the studio, auditions and whatever is coming next in your dance journey.

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