Zoë Vette

Everyone stands for the final bow, the curtain goes down, and this year’s dance season has ended.

Or has it?

Although the end of the school year may seem to mark the end of dance until school restarts in the fall, it doesn’t have to.

Traditionally, the dance season runs as a traditional school year from August or September until June. Dance students enroll in the fall when school starts, continue through the winter, and finish in the spring with the culmination of the annual Spring Showcase. During the school year, students come to class consistently to learn and master technique, which they use in choreography for the performance that typically marks the “end of the season.”

Once summer begins, students may take a break from dance for time for vacations, relaxation, and summer sports. However, just as students can experience a loss of learning in academics over the summer break, dancers can also experience a loss of flexibility and strength over a long break.

Fortunately, Encore Academy of Dance offers year-round dance training!

Here are a few reasons why year-round dance training is beneficial:

  1.  Maintain Skills: If you don’t use it, you lose it. Similarly to the academic classroom, the skills you worked so hard on for the fall season may not be as easily accessible when you return from a long break. An entire summer without dancing can significantly set a performer back on skills learned throughout the dance year, causing the dancer’s improvement to be slower. Even taking drop-in classes inconsistently over a long break will help a dancer maintain technical skills developed throughout the year.
  2. Opportunity to Advance Sooner: Placement for leveled classes is dependent on technique, not time. If your goal is to advance in your favorite style of dance quickly, use summer classes as an opportunity to begin working at a new level two to three months earlier than the traditional-dance-season dancer. This addition of a full two to three months of dancing experience dramatically improves the body and mind connection. Continuous training also provides a dancer with more in-depth training. It also opens up increased opportunities compared to dancers who pause over the summer.
  3. Try Something New: Summer is a great time to try a new genre! If your schedule during a traditional fall schedule is too busy, consider adding a contemporary or hip hop class into your summer schedule for a change. You may find your summer schedule is more flexible, allowing for weekly enrollment, or drop-in classes, to a style you’re less familiar with. Summer is also a great time to take the extra strength and flexibility class or turn and leap class you couldn’t fit into your fall class schedule.
  4. Friendships: Dance class is the best place to build life-long friendships. Dancers tend to spend a lot of time together on and off the stage. Suppose you are moving to a new level or genre. In that case, summer classes allow dancers to explore new friendships and bonds without the added pressure of academics. These connections help to maintain a love of dance.
  5. Injury Prevention: Just like any sport, staying in shape is essential. Staying on top of technique, flexibility, and strength helps prevent injuries and maintain overall physical health. Dancers who continue to dance through the summer get regular physical fitness and stretching and are less likely to experience strains and sprains that could derail their dance training. Dance also requires mental flexibility. Continuing with classes throughout the summer helps to ‘flex’ the brain while you’re off from school.

In addition to summer classes, there may be workshops, conventions, or intensive opportunities in your area during the “off-season.” Talk with your teachers and/or studio owners about what options are best for you, depending on where you are in your dance journey.

At Encore Academy of Dance, we offer many dance styles for all age ranges in various class settings. Private lessons are available, as well. Our year is split into fall and summer sessions that follow the average American school system’s schedule. With options for weekly classes, drop-in classes, one-day camps, and full-week camps offered year-round, you can always dance with us!

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