Friday, May 8, 2015

How You Can Prepare for Your Summer Intensive

Summer intensives are not easy. They wouldn't be called intensives if they weren't intense. However, there are things you can do to make your first couple of weeks less painful. Last year was my first summer intensive and I did not prepare and oh, was it awful. So with summer coming right around the corner right now is your time to start preparing

The first thing you should start doing is getting your body in shape. The least you should be doing every night is core exercises, light stretching, and feet strengthening exercises. I have some good strengthening exercises in this post. 3-4+ nights a week you should do something a little more. My new favorite thing is doing Blogilates exercises. For those of you who are unfamiliar with who Blogilates is she is a woman who does pilates videos for basically any area of your body on YouTube. Pilates is really great because it strengthens and tones your muscles and makes your posture better. And a benefit is that you don't have to go to a pilates class outside your home, you can just do it in your living room. To stretch I do more intense stretching like super splits, back flexibility and strengthening, and tons of hip stretches. Finally, do more cardio. This I would say is not as important as the others. I aim for doing it 2 times a week. To get my cardio in, I ride my bike or use an elliptical. I am not a huge fan of running because it puts a lot of strain on my knees.

Recently, I have tried to change to change my diet to be more nutritious. Now, by changing my diet I don't mean going on a diet. That is never a good idea for young dancers. Eating a good diet is important because it will give you more energy. Don't think you will be more energetic if you eat healthily the day before your intensive. It will also be awful to all of a sudden eat only healthy things if you are used to eating more unhealthy things. So, try to ease into it. Start with not having a dessert after dinner. Or for breakfast instead of reaching for a sugared donut go for a scrambled egg and toast. You will definitely feel a difference in your body and energy.

The night before the your first day you should prepare some essentials in your bag:
• Small can of hairspray
•Tennis ball for rolling out your muscles
•bandaids- also there are these things your can get at Walgreens that are called Gel Corn Protectors. They are like reusable bandaids but provide a lot more comfort and stay on in your shoe.
•Foot spray- only use this after class, trust me on this one.

My bae
Made by The Body Shop
•Ziploc bag for ice.
•Notepad for seminars
•All your shoes (obviously)
•Icy-hot if thats your thing
•lots of healthy snacks
•Chiffon skirt for variations

After your first day or two you will be in a big world of hurt. To fix sore muscles I freeze a regular plastic water bottle in the freezer. I then use this to roll out my muscles while I am running a warm bath. Once my bath is ready and my muscles are rolled I get in the bath and read a book or something until the bath is no longer warm. Next, I soak my feet in a ice bucket. If you are out of town or don't have a bucket just place ice packs on your feet. If it is your first time doing a ice bucket I would recommend not starting out with the coldest your can get the water. To get your self used to to cold I fill one bucket with cold water with no ice. In another bucket I have it full of ice. Once your feet are used to the temperature keep adding ice cubes until there is none left and your should be fine.

That is all I do to prepare and repair for my summer intensive if you have any pre/post intensive rituals you should leave them in the comments!

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