Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Programs! Post your progress in #ArtWithAlli

Summer Programs—What you learned!

We are nearing the end of July and that means Summer Program madness is almost over!  Being at a summer program can mean quite a few things for every dancer.  With summer programs comes growth, fun, frustration, setbacks, and sometimes, a lot of pain!! For many dancers heading to summer programs for the first time often means it’s the first time they will being dancing all day!  This is challenging both physically and mentally.  They are often away from their families for the first time, too! Getting into your dream summer program is also a very big accomplishment for every young dancer, but there are some dancers who may not have the means to go away from home to summer programs.  However, they stay at their studios all summer and take classes from guest teachers.  Either way, summer programs should be approached as a time for extreme growth in your dancing, at any age.

I have told you this before, I did not go away for a summer program until I was 18 and a high school graduate.  I went to the ABT New York program.  I had auditioned for summer programs when I was younger, and did get in, but chose not to go because I wanted to spend time with my family in the summertime.  I just enrolled at my studio’s summer program.  I have fond memories of guest teachers who made a huge impact in my dancing.  I always liked training in the summers because it was the only time of the year where I could focus only on dancing because I did not have to worry about school, too.  I also loved being at the studio all day.  Taking ballet, jazz, modern, character, acting, pointe shoe and makeup seminars and stretch class! 

This summer I have traveled across the country to teach students ballet.  I was in Louisiana, Illinois, Utah and California so far. One thing I notice among the students is, it is hard to motivate them to dance outside of their comfort zones and deviate from what they are used to doing.  If any of you have ever taken class from me, you know that I preach a few consistent things.  First, be smart dancers.  Everyone is a good dancer now a days, so to set you a part from someone else you must be mentally sharp.  Learn combinations quickly, pickup on details of the entire body, and take corrections well.  Second, remember the studio is a safe place.  It is the arena to grow and make mistakes.  Fall on the ground, jump higher, and hold your leg up a little longer.  Everyone in the class is there for the same reason, to grow. Be confident and do not be shy about your dancing.  And last, tell me a story!! Remember you are an Artist above all.  I like to see my students working on their artistry from the beginning of class. It does not come out of nowhere.  You have to approach everything you do as if there is an audience watching.

I thought it would be cool, for Art with Alli, if everyone would post pictures from the summer program they attended this summer.  Tell us who your favorite teachers are and what you have learned so far.  It would be nice to see what everyone is up to and see if they have learned something different from you!  Be sure to post in the Art with Alli Forum and post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #artwithall.  Be sure to tag @artwithalli and @allidebona.  I can’t wait to see what you are all up to!

I will be sharing posts on my @artwithalli Instagram and Twitter accounts, so be sure you are following those accounts!!

Link to the Art With Alli Forum--


                                         Photo by Vicki Lanz Photography for Ballet in Cleveland.

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