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How to Make The Most of Summer as a Dancer

Posted by Terrence Taps on

Whether you're a dance teacher or a student of dance, it is THAT time of year again...

Dance recital season!

Right now most of us have, at least, one dance recital to attend. The most ambitious among us may attend many more than one.

If you're like me, you are working hard to polish your "pieces" before the big day!

Recital season does more than put an exclamation mark on all of the hard work teachers and students have put in over the school year,  it also marks the beginning of the Summer season.

Some studios take a 3 month summer break, others focus on providing the community with dance camps, intensives, classes, workshops, or some combination of all of those. Summer classes also typically have fewer participating students as folks treat themselves to travel and other enjoyable activities.

Because of this, much is forgotten & your skills decline; making getting back into "dance mode" in the Fall far more challenging.

If proper self care and practice are ignored, you might return to a greater risk of injury on top of the frustration caused by being unable to jump right back in and do the things you did before the break.

To keep yourself in great dance shape throughout the long Summer season:

Priority #1 - Stay Flexible For Dance

Flexibility is typically the first thing to go over the Summer. Let's be honest, who wants to spend time stretching when the beach, the trail, or the big game awaits!

As a dancer you already know plenty of stretching routines and techniques. The trick is to find ways to work stretching into your daily routine. 

You could always stretch during a certain show...Game of Thrones anyone?

You could make a habit of stretching before or after your morning 'ablutions' (brushing teeth, hair, showering, etc.).

If you enjoy a glass of wine after dinner, perhaps you can make that glass contingent on completing a short stretching session!

Like most things, if you don't use your flexibility, you will lose it!

 

Priority #2 - Keep Your Tap Shoes Visible

Don't bury your tap shoes in the closet over the Summer.

Keep them out, keep them visible.

After all "out of sight, out of mind" is a real phenomenon.

If you put your shoes in your closet, they won't be seen or heard from until just before your next tap class. And I promise they'll be hard to find!

This may sound crazy to some, but I recommend that you occasionally put your tap shoes on...even if you don't plan on practicing. I have learned that the simple act of slipping your shoes on or, at a minimum, keeping them in front of your eyes, increases the chances that you will actually use them!

It also doesn't hurt to have your own tap board to dance on, which  leads me to Priority #3!

Priority #3 - Tap Dance Daily

Keeping your tap shoes visible, stretching during 'Game of Thrones', and cooking with your tap shoes on is all well and good, but you must still spend some time actually tap dancing.

If you don't, the line of communication between your head and your feet will become cluttered and unreliable. This is even true over short periods of time.

Ideally, you will practice your tap steps every day. 

Notice that I didn't set a minimum amount of time. Every little bit helps.

You just need to remind your feet, each day, that you're still a tap dancer.

Having a portable tap dance floor is really helpful under these circumstances because you can do fun things like:

-getting on the tap floor every time you walk by it (even in tennis shoes) to  practice one tap step or combo.

-getting on the floor while talking on the phone, putting together an Instagram post, or watching TV and just letting your feet "fly". 

This is why the Portable Tap Floor Store exists. 

I am committed to increasing the enjoyment of tap dancing through products that help people tap dance better, faster.

May you have a successful recital season and a relaxing and rhythmic Summer.

Your friend in rhythm,

Terrence Taps

 

 

 

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