From summer to fall: Heading back to school fresh

It’s always a bit sad when we sense that summer is coming to an end. Perhaps you had an incredible experience at a multi-week dance intensive, or ventured to various workshops to learn new things, or maybe you had some down time with your friends and family. No matter how you spent your summer, it’s almost time for back to school, and back to dance. This time of year can feel bittersweet – you’re excited to start a new year of dance, but you’re also grieving over the soon-to-be-gone dog days of summer. 

Well, these Broadway Dance Center teachers are here to help you start your new school year feeling fresh and inspired! 

Summer hydration for dancers

Summer sweat: How best to hydrate during the summer

Alex Gonzaga is a professional dancer with Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre and also a personal trainer to dancers and athletes with Proteus Fitness. “I still remember years ago when I took the Atlanta Ballet summer program,” he shares. “I was 18 years old and straight out of high school. The workload during that summer was a lot more intense than I had ever experienced. With my limited knowledge at the time, I did not think hydration would be a problem, but it was. Right around the second week of the program, I had an unusually hard day, and down I went. Due to dehydration, my body just completely shut down. I didn’t pass out, but I got extremely lightheaded and had to stop dancing for the day. An older company dancer at that time introduced me to this simple hydration drink where you mix sugar, salt and water together. That was my first experience with dehydration.”

senior dance students

Letting them go with love: How to say goodbye to your senior students

The recitals, exams, competitions and conventions are done. If you don’t have a summer program running, the studio might feel pretty quiet. Too quiet. Saying goodbye to your senior students can leave you with empty nest syndrome, but know that you’re not alone! 

Seán Curran (department chair of New York University’s Tisch dance program) and Aram Manukyan (teacher at the School of Alberta Ballet and previous artistic director of Alberta Ballet II), talk about the seniors they’ve seen off, and how they deal with goodbyes year after year. 

Dancers stretching at Broadway Dance Center

Tips for summer stretching!

Summer sunshine! A time for pools, hikes, ice cream, hangouts and sunscreen. Maybe you take time off, find an inspiring intensive or fill your weeks with workshops. Yet the one thing we pretty much all have, at least in the northern hemisphere, and especially in NYC, is heat! And I bet that if there is one thing you love about heat is that it helps with your warm-up and feeling stretchy! 

You probably already intuitively knew that being warm is really important for getting more stretch out of our muscles, so you can totally take advantage of the warmer weather and get a jump start on sweating it out and getting your heart rate up to prepare for dance! But what are some other things to keep in mind to get the most out of your stretch? Here are a few things to think about for your best summer stretching!

Breaking into Broadway

The lights are bright, the buzz and energy is so full of life. It’s full of song, dance, storytelling, exciting choreography, extravagant costumes and sets. It’s Broadway. It’s lovingly called The Great White Way – one of the first streets in the U.S. to be lit with electric lights. Its history and reputation and potential for amazing things make it a “bucket list” item for many dancers. But when so many dancers are vying for the same goal, how can you turn this dream into a reality? How can you break into Broadway?

Here, we turn to Stephanie Bissonnette, a 2010 graduate of Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Intern Program (now called the BDC Professional Semester), who made her Broadway debut in the musical Mean Girls last April. She knows all there is to know about what kinds of classes aspiring Broadway dancers should be taking, how to prepare for that singing audition and how you, too, can make it on The Great White Way, doing what you love.

Winter: A good time to start your dance journal

Winter is a time when nature becomes dormant. Although the human world buzzes on, in alignment with the nature all around us, we are drawn to rest and reflect. How might this apply to artists, with reflection (on both inner and outer) fruitful for creative output and personal growth?

Might winter be a good time to begin journaling as a dancer? How, practically, are some ways to start doing that? Here, we speak with Betsy Miller, Assistant Professor of Dance at Salem State University, and Boston-based dance artist; and Karen Klein, founder and artistic director of teXtmoVes, to learn more about beginning to journal for creative processes in winter.

How can you be a ‘mindful’ dancer?

Have you ever thought about being a more “mindful” dancer? How might one go about doing that? Why might one want to do so, in the first place? Being mindful involves staying attuned to the present moment, and remaining fully engaged in the task at hand. Given dance’s real-time physical and mental demands, it seems evident enough as to why remaining mindful would be advantageous for dancers.

Here, we speak with Stephen Ursprung, assistant professor of Dance Studies at Dean College; and Danielle Davidson, dance artist and assistant professor in Dance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, to learn more about the what, why and how of mindfulness and dance training.

How to make the most of your drop-in classes

Studios like Broadway Dance Center are amazing – they offer hundreds of classes a week, are rich in every dance style imaginable, and have something for dancers of all ages and levels. There is so much to choose from! You can literally drop in at any time of the day and find yourself in a class surrounded by dancers from all over the globe, Broadway stars, professional ballet dancers, up-and-coming choreographers and those who take class simply for fun.

That said, you may be in a class packed to capacity, with a teacher you may not know and a style you may not be the most comfortable in. But all of those challenges are good for you and can fuel some serious inspiration! So how can you make the most of your drop-in classes at BDC?

Planning your group visit to BDC

Do you live outside of NYC but wish that you and your students could dance all day at a studio like Broadway Dance Center, where there are over 350 classes in all styles each week? Well, dreams can come true!

BDC welcomes groups year-round and offers discounted rates for arranged group visits. So even if you live across the country, you can still partake in all the exciting classes that BDC has to offer! And BDC’s Group Services staff will work closely with you when planning your visit, as they know that each dancer in your group may have different needs and expectations, so your stay can be completely customized.