Health & Wellness
Four Reasons Why a Summer Dance Intensive is Safer than a Dance Competition
As states across the country begin looking at reopening their economies and returning to normal life activities, it’s time to begin asking what activities you will participate in when quarantine lifts in your area. For many dancers, this means making decisions about which dance activities are safest to participate in. Is a summer dance intensive still a safe option? Or would a dance competition be safer?
When determining the safety of any activities during this challenging time, a few of the things to consider are the number of people to whom you will be exposed, the facilities where the activities will be held, and the overall cleanliness of the activity. Will social distancing guidelines be observed, or will that even be possible given the environment? From a financial perspective it’s also important to determine what happens if an activity is unable to be held.
Based on these considerations, here are a few reasons why we believe a summer dance intensive is a safer option for dancers this summer than a dance competition or contest.
- Limited Class Sizes – at Joffrey Ballet School, our intensives are limited to class sizes of only about 25 students. We hold our intensives in large studio spaces, which generally make it possible for us to observe appropriate social distancing of approximately 6 to 10 feet of space between each student. You will only be exposed to these dancers and those you may interact with in the dorms for the duration of a week (or more) long intensive. In a dance competition, on the other hand, as many as 500 to 1,000 individual dancers and teams will share the stage and venue with limited time between numbers. Through the course of a competition day, you could be exposed to hundreds of other dancers, audience members, judges and others, making a competition a potentially riskier activity in terms of virus spread than a smaller intensive. Overnight stays in hotels could expose you even more.
- Effective Sick Policies – A major disadvantage of a dance competition is that dancers may be so motivated to compete and win that they may not self-isolate if they begin experiencing symptoms of illness. There’s no guarantee that anyone will be checking contestants and others as they enter the venue to ensure they aren’t exhibiting a fever or other symptoms. Most competitions don’t have a policy to ensure that dancers who are ill are kept away if they are symptomatic. At Joffrey, if one of our dancers is ill, they are required to stay in the dorm until their symptoms improve. If they are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, parents will be notified in order to make arrangements to return home or make decisions about medical assistance.
- Clean Facilities – Before each intensive and between each class, Joffrey staff diligently clean and disinfect all practice and performance spaces to ensure that our facilities are as clean as possible. This includes wiping down all floors, barres, mirrors, door knobs and surfaces in general, after each class with medical grade sanitizer. We also partner with third party organizations such as universities for our housing and food service options. These facilities are also kept clean and disinfected by those organizations to restrict disease transmission. At a crowded dance competition with hundreds or thousands in attendance, there’s no way to ensure that facilities are kept clean and disease free at all times.
- Insurance to Protect Tuition / Fees – Most dance competitions are unable to process refunds in the event that a competition can’t be held due to social distancing regulations. And there’s no insurance policy that can protect your entrance fees. At Joffrey, we’ve solved this problem by partnering with A+ Program Protection to provide insurance to protect our dancers’ and their families’ investments should we be forced to cancel a summer intensive session. Just $99 safeguards your tuition and travel expenses if a dancer or their parents loses their job, becomes ill or are unable to attend our intensives. Pandemic and epidemic claims ARE INCLUDED. However, please note that we are unable to process refunds due to our contractual obligations to the third party organizations that host our intensives. Therefore, we strongly recommend purchasing insurance for any summer dance intensives you consider attending this summer.
At Joffrey, we understand how challenging it is for dancers and their families to determine what the best course of action is for summer plans. But when considering the evidence about limited class sizes, facility cleaning, sick policies and insurance, it’s clear that a summer dance intensive is a safer option than a dance competition.
Why be crammed into a competition venue with hundreds of other dancers, parents, judges and observers when you can attend a week-long dance intensive with just 25 other students and a renowned master instructor who provides one-on-one corrections to help you improve? Register today to audition online for one of our summer dance intensives across the country, and get ready to have the best summer of your life!
What to Bring to a Summer Dance Intensive
With Covid-19 impacting many people’s daily lives, the questions we normally get about what to bring to a summer dance intensive have taken on a different flavor. It’s true that your 2020 summer dance intensive packing list may include some items you normally wouldn’t bring. Some of those items could be difficult to find in stores or online, and could be subject to shipping delays. So now is the time to start collecting the items on your packing list.
Not to mention, what you need to bring to a summer dance intensive will also be subject to some additional “twists” this year. That’s because your “packing list” may vary depending on when and where your intensive will be held, whether in person or via remote in the comfort of your home. Read on to learn about what to bring to your Joffrey summer dance intensives in this unique time.
June Intensives Via Remote Learning
Our focus, as always, is on the safety and well-being of our dancers, instructors and staff. That’s why we’re working diligently to ensure that our 2020 summer dance intensives meet the highest degree of safety and are in compliance with all national, state and local requirements – while also ensuring that our instruction is of the highest caliber.
To accomplish these goals, some of our June intensives will be provided via remote instruction with our world-renowned staff. Classes will be presented online with live instructors, and dancers will continue to receive personalized technique correction just as they would in our in-studio classes.
- All NYC June sessions have transitioned to remote.
- All Colorado and Georgia sessions have transitioned to remote. Dancers have the option of attending our Dallas intensives if they prefer in-person instruction.
- NYC July and August sessions are available in-person with a remote instruction option in July.
Later in the summer we’ll switch back to our traditional live, in-person format, with some of our July sessions available either in-person or via remote. You can learn more about these changes on our Covid-19 updates page and from our Artistic Directors if you’re registered with us.
However, what’s important to note is that what you’ll need for your summer dance intensive varies based on which session you attend, and whether it’s being held via remote or in person.
What You’ll Need for Joffrey’s 2020 Remote Intensives
If you’re attending one of our remote intensives, the good news is you don’t need to “pack” items since you’ll be attending via Zoom from the comfort of your own home. However, that’s not to say that you won’t need to plan ahead to ensure that you have everything you need. Here is the “packing list” for our remote sessions:
Uniforms: You’ll still be expected to be in uniform, just as if you were attending in person. This makes it easier for our instructors to focus on each dancer, without being distracted by their attire. Check the uniform requirements for your session: our ballet uniform typically requires black leotards and ballet pink tights plus a wrap skirt or character skirt if you’ll be taking character classes. For other intensives, the dress code is more flexible. The good news is you may not need to buy as many uniform items…but you will have to keep up with your laundry.
Dance shoes: You will likely need the same types and number of shoes at home as you would in an in-person class. That means the proper shoes for the type of classes you will be attending (pointe, character, etc.); if you live in a humid region you’ll likely need extra pairs so that your shoes get a chance to dry out.
Appropriate practice space: In order to participate in remote instruction, you’ll need a space where you can practice. Ideally, your space should have a smooth floor (hardwood or marley) and a barre for stretching and barre work.
Cam and tripod:To attend your Joffrey intensive dance classes via remote learning, you’ll need access to a webcam, such as one built into your tablet, smartphone or mobile device. The other optional item is a tripod for mounting your camera to provide a clear view of your dance practice. This will allow the instructor to analyze your technique over Zoom or web streaming apps with minimal distractions. Your artistic director will provide additional technical instructions including any apps you need to download prior to your intensive.
What You’ll Need for Joffrey’s 2020 In-Person Intensives
If your intensive is scheduled for July 1 or later, you’ll probably be joining us in person and we are so looking forward to meeting and working with you! Here are the items you’ll want to bring.
Social Distancing: Our packing list for our intensives typically doesn’t vary much: tights, leotards, dance shoes, etc. But with Covid-19 still a concern across the country, this year’s packing list for our in-person intensives includes a few additional items to help you with maintaining social distance. These items include:
- Face masks – one per day, if worn. If using washable cloth masks, be sure to hand wash in hot soapy water between wearings.
- Hand sanitizer – small bottle to keep in your dance bag.
- Disinfecting wipes – for use in your dorm room. We also provide wipes for use in our studios and practice spaces.
Dance uniforms: Check the uniform requirements for your intensive. Keep in mind that you’ll be dancing for about 6 to 8 hours per day, so you will want a fresh, clean uniform for each day. Also keep in mind that laundry facilities and time to do laundry are limited. You can purchase our branded uniform items online from DiscountDance.
Dance shoes: Proper shoes for the type of classes you will be attending (pointe, character, etc.); bring extra pairs so that your shoes get a chance to dry out between uses. Toe tape and pads, toe separators and gel pads are also a good idea.
Dance bag: Your dance bag should contain your water bottle, small snacks (trail mix, Power Bars, etc.), a small portable first aid kit (band aids, antiseptic wipes, ice pack, Ace bandage ) and a small sewing kit for repairing dance shoes and uniform items. Your bag should also contain a Pilates or yoga mat, resistance bands, your dance and street shoes, and warm-ups or cover ups for street wear.
Personal care items: You’ll want to be extra careful to bring everything you’ll need this year, since maintaining social distance means that sharing or borrowing any personal items is strongly discouraged. Items to pack include pedicure tools, hair restraints (hair spray, ties, bands or nets), laundry detergent for hand or machine washing tights and other items.
First Aid Kit: You will also want to keep a larger first aid kit in your dorm room containing bandaids, muscle ointment, pain relievers, ice pack, heating pad, antiseptic wipes or ointment.
Toiletries: Shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, lotion, Kleenex and a shower bucket, plus makeup if worn. It’s also advisable to bring flip flops to wear in the shower to prevent the spread of athlete’s foot.
Street clothes: You’ll need a few changes of street clothes, including something appropriate to wear to performances or cultural events if possible. Don’t forget to pack pajamas, clean underwear, socks and comfortable shoes (this is not the time for new or uncomfortable shoes, or high heels, as you could get a blister).
Miscellaneous items: Bring from home your own pillow, towels, an alarm clock or smart phone/watch with a built in alarm, and a camera or smartphone with camera. Notecards and postage so you can send a note home is always nice. You may also wish to pack reading material or relaxing activities for use in your off time.
Join Joffrey for the Summer of Your Life!
Although our 2020 summer dance intensives are going to look a little different than they have in the past, we are still looking forward to helping our dancers elevate their skills and take their dance game to the next level.
Now that you know what you need to bring to your summer dance intensives with us, be sure to start gathering everything you need now. And if you’re still waiting to register, don’t delay any longer! Contact Joffrey Ballet School today and get ready to have the time of your life!
Keep Calm and Dance On With Joffrey
With one in four Americans under a “shelter in place” order, many schools across the country have been ordered to close in order to create “social distance” and slow the spread of CoVid-19. Keep in mind all of those orders are based upon worst case studies (which have never in American recorded history transpired) and not the probable reality of the current circumstances.
Joffrey Ballet School in New York City is among them. But even though we’re following the directives of local, state and Federal authorities, that doesn’t mean we’re taking a “Corona-cation.” In fact, it’s just the opposite. We’re working harder than ever before to find ways to support our dancers through this outbreak.
We realize that for all of our dancers, this time of social distancing has a big impact on the plans you had for this spring.. Performances are being canceled, and you may be unable to attend your normal classes at your dance studio or school. You may even be worried about your family and friends who may fall ill or unable to work.
But one thing you don’t have to worry about is whether Joffrey will be here for you this summer. We are working hard to support our trainees and year round students through distance learning and to ensure that this summer’s dance intensives will continue on schedule.
Here’s how we’re helping our dancers “Keep Calm and Dance On” despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
Distance Learning with Joffrey
Our year round Ballet and Jazz & Contemporary trainee programs deliver thousands of hours of dance training from some of the world’s best dance professionals and master instructors. Now we are beginning the process of moving that training online! Over the last few weeks, we videotaped many of our most popular dance training classes and are currently editing the video for use in our online training.
Within the next two weeks, we’ll begin rolling out this online training to all of our students – from the children’s and beginner level, up through pre-professional trainees. If you’re a registered student or trainee, you can expect these online classes to be delivered via email. These online classes will not just include lectures but dance instruction and correction so that dancers can continue to improve their form and enhance their technique.
We believe that with focused individual practice and online training, our trainees and students can become stronger, more flexible and ready to take their dancing to the next level when life returns to normal.
Tuition and Travel Insurance
One of the most challenging aspects of the coronavirus outbreak for many of our dancers and their families is the uncertainty regarding the future. Will your future plans – such as attending a summer dance intensive – be disrupted? Will your flights be canceled? What if a dancer or family member becomes ill and is unable to attend the planned intensive, or needs to return home due to an emergency?
Uncertainties like these can seem overwhelming and Joffrey is here to help. We’re working with A+ Program Protection to protect our dancers and their families from financial loss, should the unthinkable happen. For just $99, you can purchase insurance that safeguards your tuition and travel expenses in the event that a dancer or their parents lose their job, become ill or are unable to attend our intensives. Pandemic and epidemic claims ARE INCLUDED.
That said, we are unable to process refunds on our pre-paid summer dance intensive registrations due to the nature of our business. We work with dozens of colleges and institutions around the country to obtain studio space, housing and meal service for our students. We are contractually obligated to commit to and pay for these services in advance. Because we cannot offer refunds, we strongly suggest that families purchase tuition and travel insurance to protect their tuition investment.
Focus on Hygiene and Health
We have always taken the protection of our dancers, instructors and community seriously . We also believe that the coronavirus is only a temporary setback – for us and for you. That’s why our goal is to return to normal business operations as soon as it is safe to do so. We anticipate that will happen well before our summer dance intensives are scheduled to begin in June.
We’ll be following the directives of local authorities, so in the event that one of our summer dance intensives is unable to be held in its scheduled location, we may move the dancer’s enrollment to one of the other 2020 programs to which they have been admitted. Dancers will be kept up to date regarding any changes by their Artistic Directors.
And of course, when our in-person classes and intensives do resume, we’ll be focusing vigorously on ensuring that our dormitories, classrooms and studio spaces are clean and healthy. Frequent wipedowns and disinfection of all surfaces before and after each class will be a key focus. Should a dancer display symptoms of any illness, they will be instructed to remain in the dormitories and their parents will be contacted.
Keep Calm and Dance On
Lastly, we think it’s important to help our dancers keep a positive mindset about their dance training in challenging times like these.
Winston Churchill once said that “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Look for the opportunity within the difficulties you may be facing now. The dancers who are successful in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak will be the ones who stayed laser focused on their goals, continuing to learn and practice despite the challenges they faced. Courage and persistence are always your best tools for overcoming difficulties. That’s true whether your goals are to dance at a professional level someday, or to pursue any other academic or professional path.
As for all of us at Joffrey, we’re going to stay focused on our objectives too: supporting our dancers and helping them train for their futures. That means continuing to do what we have always done – provide the world’s best and most diverse dance instruction to dancers who are truly serious about their art. And we are planning to get back to doing that this summer in cities across the country. Hope to see you there!
Food Safety Tricks Every Dancer Should Know
With so much attention being focused these days on what we eat – whether it’s Paleo, gluten-free, vegan or even pizza everyday – it’s easy to lose sight of how we handle and prepare our food. What we eat is, of course, always important, but the preparation and storage of our food is at least as important to our health.
To Dorm or Not to Dorm
Choosing when to move away from home is always a difficult decision (even if it’s just for a summer!) While the idea of dorming may seem intimidating at first, there are a lot of ways that choosing to dorm can make you stronger. For one, it builds character. It also pushes your to grow up much faster than other teenagers. Often, being extremely passionate about dance involves taking certain steps in life that may challenge you, but these challenges are always necessary in reaching your goal. When making the decision to dorm there many things that you and your parents should consider as a team. Here are a few things you’ll want to talk about before flying the coop: (more…)
How to Fouetté Through Flu-Season
Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?! Flu season can get the healthiest of dancers down, and we’re always more susceptible to sickness during times of high stress… hello tech week! Even though we can’t completely prevent ourselves from getting sick, there are certain things we can do to decrease our chances, and if those measures fail, there are simple ways to decrease the severity and length of most flu-season illnesses. (more…)
How to Get the Most from Your Health Insurance Plan
So, let’s talk about health insurance for a minute… yes, if you’re under 26 you can stay on your parent’s plan. And yes, legally everybody in the United States must be insured. BUT, as a dancer, do you really understand the details of how health insurance affects you?! Health insurance and understanding what you’re entitled to is of the utmost importance for young dancers (especially if you’re training away from home!) Your body is your instrument! So, to make sure you understand your plan, here are three key tips to remember.
How To Prevent & Recover From Dance Injuries (Tips from Kerrie Flynn, LMT)
Whether you’re a young, aspiring dancer; a seasoned pro; or a recreational dancer, you’ve probably experienced a dance-related injury at some point during your dance training.
Approximately 50 percent of dance injuries from overuse are foot and ankle injuries. Injuries of the lower extremities comprise the vast majority of all dance injuries. Most injuries increase seasonally as rehearsal and performance schedules increase (via podiatrytoday.com).