Looking to spice things up in the studio and beyond this summer? We came up with nine dance dares for you and your friends to try. Write them down, throw them in a hat (or fedora — do you), and take turns drawing a dare and going for it. Bonus: Add some dares of your own! The point of this game is to keep it positive, challenge yourself, get a little bit out of your comfort zone, and of course have some summer fun. We dare you to play along…
1. Learn the names of 10 new people at Nationals.
It’s tempting to want to stick with your studio friends while you’er at Nationals. But branch out and make some new friends. You never know — you might be dancing alongside those people professionally someday. Start forming lifelong connections now.
2. Take a convention class that’s totally and completely out of your comfort zone.
If you’re all about contemporary, get your booty in the tap room. If hip hop’s your jam, pick up an extra ballet class. You get the point(e).
3. Stand somewhere new-to-you in the convention room.
Normally a front-row-center kinda girl? Try the side, the middle of the room, or even the back. Mixing it up will give you a new perspective. (Plus, the back of the room is typically way less crowded than the front, so you can really go full-out.)
4. Try a new fitness class.
Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, yogalates, or anything in between, try something new that’ll help you get stronger when you’re back in the studio. Crush your core on a Pilates reformer, work out some aggression in a kickboxing class, or break a serious sweat in a high-intensity interval group class. Girls’ day out, anyone?
5. Drop your ego and ask your teacher for some feedback.
Ask your teacher for a private class or some one-on-one chatting time (don’t spring it on her — make sure you schedule it, since her time is valuable, even over the summer) so you can get personalized feedback and insights about how you can improve. In a group setting, it’s hard to get lots of attention, and it’s likely that your solo sessions are usually used to work on choreography. Set up an hour-long session to talk technique, goals, how you can improve, and more before the new year begins.
6. Master a trick — on your “bad side.”
You can whip out 10 pirouettes in a row, are the queen of side aerials, and can hold a developpé tilt for the length of a Sia song — on your right side. If you’re an imbalanced dancer, make it your goal to master one (or more!) of your best right-side skills on your left. Ambidextrous dancers are the most hirable, so get to work on your “bad side.”
7. Stretch every day.
We don’t mean “sit in a straddle while Snapchatting.” Devote 20 minutes a day to stretches that will improve your dancing and keep you loose. Summer might mean less time in the studio, but you don’t want to return in the fall with tight hips and achy legs.
8. Do 50 push-ups a day.
9. See as many live performances as you can.
Make this one a competition. There’s nothing like live theater, whether it’s a competition, a Broadway show, or a site-specific piece. Battle your dance friends to see who can take in the most live dance.