Why attend a summer session?
Summer sessions provide a unique opportunity for dance students to work intensively in developing their bodies, their technique, and their artistry. In the summer session students come to class during the day when they are not as tired from their school work, and everyday activities and can focus entirely on their dance training. The intensity of attending dance classes everyday and taking a variety of classes each day allows the dancer’s body to gain flexibility and strength. The classes also allow student to be reminded more consistently on the correct body placement and technique allowing them to develop “muscle memory”.
Students often make significant progress during the summer session that allows them to improve faster during the academic year.
A few observations
In my experience as dance teacher, when students don’t take summer classes their training suffers. The developments and accomplishments achieved during the academic year are often not maintained and in some cases even reversed! When students are young it is critical to help them develop muscle memory and movement understanding in a consistent and regular manner. When students take the entire summer off, or only take a few classes per week, or only one class a day for a week or two, they don’t make the necessary progress and in some cases lose some of the technical proficiency they had achieved, and their bodies lose flexibility and strength. Attending summer sessions often gives students a boost in their training and body flexibility and strength, so they feel more confident and accomplish more in their training the following academic year. Students who do not attend summer session often spend the first three to four months of the following academic year re-building their technique, flexibility and strength thus limiting the rate of their progress.
Why guest teachers?
Michigan Ballet Academy is fortunate to offer outstanding professional ballet training through its permanent internationally and nationally acclaimed faculty. In addition to the excellent training we provide, we believe it is important to expose our students to other excellent dance faculty from around the world. It is helpful to students to be exposed to different teaching methods, and to dance teachers from different backgrounds and experiences. This exposure helps them develop versatility. Guest teachers also provide networking for our students as they develop their careers in dance. Having guest teachers allows MBA to demonstrate the quality of our training so our school can be recognized in other parts of the nation and world as an excellent place to train.
In addition to improving their technique and artistry dancers continue to engage their minds even if not in school. Dance allows them to keep working on memory skills (as they learn different step combinations and choreography), visual-body coordination, and also develop mathematical skills as students must identify movement patterns, and musical patterns. All of these have been shown to help in the development of cognitive skills. Finally attending summer program allows the dancer to continue working on discipline, focus and time management skills.