My dancer attends a large competitive studio. Our studio typically does well at competitions and we have always been pleased with the training. My dancer is attending a summer intensive this summer. It seems at our studio with the teen and senior teams in particular, that it is almost a competition to see who can have their child in the most programs or attend the most intensives outside of our studio. My question is this, for parents that don’t have the money to ship their children off to several different intensives, are their dancers going to be really far behind their peers if they stay and predominantly train at their home studio? My dancer would love to travel and do all of this, but she has siblings who have interests as well and we support those just as we support her love of dance. I would love to hear your perspectives as dance teachers.
It’s good to hear you are happy with your training at your studio! That is very important. I also think it’s wonderful you are supporting your other children’s interests just as much as your dancer’s. I see too often where they get left behind. Is your studio going as a studio or are people going individually? Many studios go to conventions and intensives for different reasons. To work on technique or learn choreography or to get their name out their and meet people. Talk to your studio owner/dance teacher about what classes your dancer can do this summer. Explain that going is not an option for your family (I’m sure it’s not for others as well), but you want to work on and improve technique. As long as your dancer continues to take training and technique classes at your studio through the studio she should be fine. It might turn out that if there are several students who can’t do something like this, then maybe a guest choreographer can be brought to the studio for a workshop or something like that. Stay invested in your studio and classes, research local scholarship opportunities and you will continue to grow!
While I absolutely support and LOVE that my own students do summer intensives elsewhere, I definitely do not think that if a student’s family can’t afford to send them, that they will fall behind. Dance training is what the student puts into it. For example, I could teach a class of 12 students. Out of those 12 students, let’s say 4 of them haven’t progressed at all, while 8 of them have really pushed themselves and huge strides have been made. It surely isn’t because I have taught the class differently to those 8 students. It is because those 8 students were more focused and simply worked harder. Travis Wall could come into my studio and teach those same students and would get the same results, because those 8 kids simply have more drive, better work ethic, and strive to apply every correction I give. Intensives are fabulous because the students get to learn from other teachers, they get to be exposed to different styles, they get to meet new friends, be around new people who will inspire them. But if money is an issue and your budget simply can’t afford to go to 5 different week long intensives that also needs to include travel and room/board, don’t worry. I think if you remind your dancer to be a sponge and just soak up everything she can in her home studio’s summer classes, she will excel. Also, ask the teacher for private lessons on technique. Ask the teacher if your dancer can help assist some of the younger students’ classes. Also, just because some kids are going to intensives far away doesn’t mean that those intensives are necessarily the best. Check into intensives at local colleges! They often offer camps or intensives for younger or prospective students over the summer. Just provide for your dancer what you can financially and always remind her how far she can go if she is 100% focused all the time.