The dog days of summer are nearing their end, which is, in some ways, sad. But that means that fall is around the corner, and we’re back to school, and back to dance! There are many things to look forward to this time of year – getting back into routine, maybe starting a new schedule or getting to know new friends, finding inspiration and goals for the new year ahead, and, of course, back-to-studio shopping!
Here, we speak with two Só Dança ambassadors – Juliana Wilder and Joseph Gatti – about why they look forward to back to dance, and how they mentally and physically prepare for a new dance season.
It’s back to school/dance time! How have you approached this time of year?
Juliana Wilder, student at The Art of Classical Ballet
“This time of year is so transitional, as it really is not summer anymore, but it’s also not fall. Therefore, in order to keep grounded, I like to envision how I want my year to go and create goals for myself. In terms of staying in shape physically, I like to stretch and do exercises on my own.”
Joseph Gatti, artistic director/founder of United Ballet Theatre and Academy
“I was always not excited for school but always ecstatic for ballet training! When I was younger, I would just be playing all different kinds of sports, so in some ways it kept me at a level of fitness, but I didn’t have the knowledge as I do now for the importance of proper training in preparation for coming back to ballet and dance training.”
What’s been your favorite part about going back to school and dance in the fall? Have you ever had any worries or nerves leading up to this time of year?
“My favorite part was meeting new kids and learning from everyone. Even at a young age, I knew the importance of listening and being attentive to what I felt was important in growing as a dancer. My worries were actual school. My mind was constantly on dance, and sometimes I was worried of getting low grades.”
“My favorite part about going back to school and dance is getting into routine again. I am a busy bee, meaning I love having something to work on everyday, and school and dance give me exactly that. Even though I am excited, new things can cause nerves. When I am feeling this way, I like to remember why I started dancing to begin with, and to just have fun and enjoy myself.”
What are some great products and outfits for back to the studio?
“For fall weather, I love to keep warm in my Só Dança warm-ups. All things leg warmers, booties and ‘trash bag’ pants will keep me warm when it’s more chilly outside. I also make sure to stock up on my favorite Só Dança tights. These can be worn with my uniform, but also with fun outfits on free dress days.”
What are some of your words of advice and inspiration for dancers gearing up for back to school and dance this fall?
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a new season starting, but I recommend making a solid plan, working hard while sticking to that plan, and trusting that everything will work out how it is supposed to. Take everything day by day and enjoy every moment studying or in the studio!”
“Be attentive, try and enjoy every second you have dancing and learning from others, and if you truly love the career of dance, then you want it to last long, so take care of yourself mentally and physically. Also, make it enjoyable! Enjoy the ride!”
Feeling indecisive about your dance year shopping? Luckily, Só Dança has selected a collection of basics and the latest styles for getting back to class. Check it out at: www.sodanca.com/collections/back-to-school.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.