It’s that time of year again!

Summer is over, school supplies have been bought, and dance classes are starting up. When I was young, this was the time of year I looked forward to most. Summer was great, but I just wanted to be back in the studio dancing! While eagerness may abound, here are some important things to remember once you get back into the studio.

The first class is a Starting Point. Even if you went to a summer intensive this summer, everyone has taken some sort of time off. You certainly weren’t dancing all summer, and your muscles weren’t used in the same way, so allow the first class back in the studio to be a platform for you to spring from. We all have to start somewhere. As they say in the Sound of Music, the beginning is “a very good place to start”. Take notes of the corrections that your teachers give you so you can have attainable goals to work for this year. You’ll be amazed at the progress made when you have something defined to work towards.   

Let the Summer Inspire You/Don’t forget what you learned. Speaking of corrections, if you went to a summer intensive and you didn’t write down the corrections you received, NOW IS THE TIME! Get yourself a notebook and start writing down those words of dancing wisdom so they can continue to guide you towards greatness. If you didn’t go to an an intensive there’s still an ocean of inspiration to draw from. What was your favorite thing about summer? Probably the freedom of not having to be in school, right? Dance is how many find the freedom to express themselves. Therefore, you should channel that sense of freedom as you dance. A Russian ballet teacher of mine once said, “Ballet is about displaying beauty – not just the beauty of having perfect technique, but the beauty of what comes from your heart.” If that doesn’t inspire you, then I don’t know what will.

It Doesn’t get Easier, You get Stronger. I don’t have anything too inspirational to go along with that statement. The truth is that dancers are trying to make their bodies accomplish things that don’t come naturally. I wish there was a magical saying that provided you excellent turnout and the ability to leap higher. As Ms. Tucker (one of my former ballet professors at Belhaven University) says, “You must do it yourself, no one can do it for you.” When you work hard each day, then you will accomplish what you once thought was impossible.

This Year is Filled with Potential. Frankly, I’m excited to see all the amazing things you all are going to accomplish this year! Never let the promise of hard work keep you from going after your dreams. Everything worth having is worth fighting for, and God is on your side.