What is up, dancers and welcome to a new From The Top blog post! Today we are talking about a time of year that is very close to our hearts, which is convention and intensive season! This is a time to expand our knowledge and strengthen our dance training beyond its normal means. However, due to the recent pandemic that we have endured and some areas are still enduring, the way the dance world has chosen to hold these events are just a tad bit different In the last few months, dance classes have been moved from in person and hands on, to virtual and online. And though, we have had to do a bit of adjusting, you know that nothing can keep the dance industry down. If there is a will to dance, we will most definitely find a way! Henceforth, the decision has been made by many dance facilities around the world to hold this year’s conventions and intensives online. This means that instead of packing up to visit another city, state, or even just leaving the house every morning for a full day of dancing, all conventions and intensives will be able to be attended in the comfort of our own homes.
It goes without saying that this within itself will be just a tad bit different, but just like we’ve got your back for standard conventions and intensives, we’ve got your back for the online ones as well. So, today let’s talk about some tips on how to survive your first virtual dance convention/intensive and how to make this new experience an incredible one! Let’s get started!
Virtual Convention/ Intensive Tip #1
Download The Required Video App Far In Advance
Every online dance intensive is conducted live via a video app, such as Zoom or Skype, that every dancer in attendance must attain on their computer. Our first tip to you all for this online convention and intensive survival guide is to download the required app far in advance, not only for convenience, but to allow you to learn how to navigate it with ease. Sometimes computer video software can be a bit tricky. You’re able to do things like turn your camera on or off, you can raise your hand and then there’s the whole putting your mic on mute thing. Alot goes into using these applications and by taking the time to learn your way around them via youtube tutorials or just self discovery, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and confusion once the classes actually begin.
Virtual Convention/Intensive Tip #2
Prepare Your At Home Dance Space
Tip #2 is all about getting your at home dance space ready and prepared for your days, weeks or maybe a few months of dancing! Just like traditional dance conventions/intensives, classes will vary from genre to genre and most everything done within a normal convention/ intensive class will also be done here online. So be sure that you choose a spot in your house that is spacious and allows you to move freely. Rearrange a few pieces of furniture if you’d like and if possible, keep everything you moved out of the way for the duration of your convention/intensive. I would even go as far as to say, jazz it up a little bit! (no pun intended) Add little things to make it feel like a real studio space! Bring in foam rollers, portable barres, flexi stretchers and whatever else you may need to accompany you during this new experience. We may be at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most out of it, am I right?!
Virtual Convention/Intensive Tip #3
Prep Your Meals Ahead Of Time
Just like at any other convention or intensive, there is a designated meal break in the afternoon period of every day, which will more than likely still only last about an hour to an hour and a half. Want to save some time? Meal prep your lunch meals at the beginning of every week of your intensive! This way you can just go right into your kitchen, grab your afternoon lunch, take your time to eat and just have a bit of down time. Cooking and/or preparing a meal on the spot can take up unnecessary time, while having everything already prepped and ready will allow you to even have more time if you need. You may even have time to take a quick nap! Alright, alright, I’m just kidding.
Virtual Convention/Intensive Tip #4
Rest Is Important, Even At Home
Though we may be dancing in the comfort of our own homes without having to get up early in the morning to per say leave to go to a designated venue, getting enough rest is still important. The one thing that I have even learned while participating in online classes during this time of quarantine is that a class is a class and it will definitely put you to work (or werk *snap snap*) no matter the circumstances. So even during this new way of learning, please be kind to your body and get yourself a good night’s rest, every night. Your mind, body and heart will thank you!
Virtual Convention/Intensive Tip #5
Your Class Schedule Is STILL Your Best Friend
In every convention and intensive guide that we have provided in the last couple of years, we have already stressed the matter of printing out and/or copying your daily class schedule and keeping it close to you. Well, while the venues have changed, this area of responsibility has not. As a matter of fact, it has probably increased. Virtual conventions/intensive schedules are as important as ever right now because since we do not have the opportunity to be in attendance physically, it is necessary for the teacher of the hour to be able to see who is online and in attendance to his or her class. So please be sure to keep your schedule handy and do the very best to log into class on time. And look at it this way! We’re at home, so the chances of losing your schedule this year are like, reeeaaally slim. That’s a plus!
And there you have it, everyone! Our tips on how to survive a virtual dance convention/intensive. We wish you all the best and lots of fun on this new adventure! Which convention or intensive are you attending online this year? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below! Have a wonderful weekend and remember…