Guest Post: How to Train Your Dancer

Hello everyone! Jess was on vacation last week so she left me in charge! (Which is a mistake people usually only make once.)

So in honor of all the summer camps, workshops, and intensives, I have this to share with you:

How to Train Your Dragon Dancer

via mbeans.com, “Dazzly Dragon with Tutu” I kinda want one . . .

1. Give your dancer a ballet class every morning. It’s a great way to start her day of dancing. Plus, beginning class at a designated spot at the barre, gives her easy access to her coffee.

via pinterest

 

Note: Do not let her tendu into her coffee. If it spills she will be very sad. This is not good for your dancer. Your dancer needs her coffee. She also needs to not be sad.

2. Stretch your dancer.  Dancers need plenty of stretching time, in and out of class. Not every dancer is naturally built like Gumby.

3. Give your dancer little breaks for snacks and water. If your dancer is not properly fed and hydrated she will get cranky (another term you might have heard is “hangry”) and might not avoid you the next time you walk by her a la seconde battements.

from How to Train Your Dragon

4. Encourage your dancer. Give her praise along with corrections. She is hard enough on herself. Your dancer is probably a perfectionist. Remind her that she will never be perfect, but she is always beautiful.

5. Help your dancer get grounded. A good modern class will do the trick. Your dancer needs to plie and dig her feet into the marley. But let her wear socks if she needs to, because splits on the bottom of your feet suck.

Photo by MayaSimFan via wikimedia commons

6. Give your dancer balance. Dancers love balance. They like to balance on their toes and they also like to balance their lives and their dancing. Mix it up. Give your dancer a ballet class, a modern class, an improv class, a rep class, and/or anything else that might broaden her horizons and her them something new. It all helps.

7. Dancers love music! They can’t get enough of it. What does your dancer like to listen to? Play her a new song. Experiment a bit and mix it up.

8. Let your dancer meet other dancers. Dancers like to be social, unfortunately they sometimes get confused. They like to hang out at the barre, but they don’t always realize this is not what people mean when they talk about socializing. Make sure your dancer is surrounded by other dancers from all over and she will have plenty to talk about and make tons of new friends to add on facebook.

picture by Amadoodles on deviantart

9. Let your dancer perform. Dancers love this. It’s like catnip or something. Plus it makes them into better dancers.

10. Last, but not least, love your dancer. There are plenty of people out there who will bring her down. Don’t be one of them.

Love always,

Stephanie