Q: Our regional comp season is over, and there are still two months until our Nationals. How do we stay motivated?
A: There are a few things we do each year to keep our students excited and working hard before Nationals. First, we give our students a three- or four-day break right after the final regional competition of the season. This gives their bodies a rest and allows them to catch up on any school work that they might have fallen behind on. After our short break, we offer open classes, where we bring in guest teachers in a variety of genres, including technique, across the floor, boot camp, freestyle, Pilates and yoga classes. We've even had a nutritionist come in and talk about healthy eating. We don't return to choreography until two weeks before our year-end recitals in June, and then we have one week of rehearsals before heading to Nationals.
We have found that giving the dancers a break, as well as a different focus, keeps them physically and mentally healthy. They are motivated to return to choreography and ready to work heading into Nationals.
Joanne Chapman is the owner of the award-winning Joanne Chapman School of Dance in Brampton, Ontario.