Why does dance end at recital?
Honestly, we don't know.
Traditionally, dance students enroll in classes when school starts, continue through the spring and participate in a spring recital. From September to June, students roll into class, dutifully learn skills and then choreography for the performance that typically marks the "end of the dance season." Once summer rolls around, dancers may leave the dance floor behind for summer vacations, summer sports and relaxation.
Just as children can experience learning loss in academics during summer break, dancers also can encounter a step back in skill development due a long break.
Here at 5 reasons why year-round training is beneficial:
1. MAINTAIN SKILLS
If you don’t use them for a while, you lose them. Just like an academic classroom, the skills you have worked on September-June may not be there if you take a long break. An entire summer without dancing can set a performer back significantly on skills learned during the dance year, making it more difficult to progress and grow as a dancer next year. Even taking drop in classes over the summer, dancers are able to, at the very least, maintain technical skills developed in regular classes.
2. OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE SOONER
If you are enrolled at a studio that offers summer classes, there is an opportunity to advance to the next level of classes right after recital. Summer classes allow the dancer to begin working in that level for 3-4 more months than traditional 9 or 10 month class schedules. Continuous training will give you a leg up and may open up new opportunities compared to dancers who take a break all summer.
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW
If you were unable to fit that hip hop or contemporary class into your fall schedule, summer is a great time to try a new genre. You may find your schedule is more flexible in the summer to either enroll or drop into classes that you are less familiar with. Summer also is a great time to take the extra ballet class or strength and flexibility to hone your skills.
Dance classes are a great place to build lifelong friendships. Dancers spend a lot of time together on and off the stage. If you are moving to a new level of classes, summer will allow dancers in new groupings to become acquainted. These friendships can maintain your child's love of dance.
5. INJURY PREVENTION
Just like any physical activity, staying in shape for that sport is essential. Staying on top of technique and training helps prevent injuries as well as maintains overall physical fitness.
Rather than spending an entire summer on the couch or lounging around, dancers who keep up with classes get regular physical activity and stretching. They are less likely to sustain sprains and strains that may derail their training.
In addition to summer classes, there may be workshop and intensive opportunities in your area. Talk with your teacher or studio owner about what opportunities are best for you. If you are looking for one on one coaching, most studios also offer private lessons to work on specific technique or help dancer's prepare for auditions.
At Upstage Center of Performing Arts, we have loaded the schedule with lots of options for all age groups. Our goal is to move toward continuous training options for our students. With a combination of summer classes and workshops, there is something for all dancers to experience.
What is the benefit of a full schedule all year?
Full class offerings for all styles and ages
Consistent schedule and tuition
No gaps in students progress through long breaks
Opportunity to move into the next level of classes following the recital
Bank missed classes and do make-up classes in the fall
Focus on where you want to improve or try something new
Stay in shape instead of bursts of classes during the summer