Summer intensives typically involve long training days. A dancer may train 6-7 hours a day for 5-6 days a week. It is important that a dancer is physically prepared to sustain these long hours to avoid overuse injuries and burnout.
Preparing for Long Training Days:
Come Back Stronger
Avoid working through through fatigue, illness, or injury. Always seek help from a medical practitioner if an injury occurs. Ensure that you are getting adequate rest in between training days to prevent tissue damage. The muscle requires 12-24 hours of rest following intense levels of physical activity in order to heal and repair damaged tissue prior to additional workouts (Koutedakis 2000). Set a mandatory rest period after summer intensives and avoid jumping into another intensive. It is recommended that a dancer takes a rest period of 2-5 weeks after an intensive or performance season to improve/maintain strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity. Cross-training can be performed during rest periods (Koutedakis 2004). A rest period is critical for adequate recovery and time to reflect what you have learned.
1) Koutedakis, Y., & Jamurtas, A. (2004). The dancer as a performing athlete. Sports Medicine, 34(10), 651-661.
2)Bullock-Saxton, J. E., Janda, V., & Bullock, M. I. (1994). The influence of ankle sprain injury on muscle activation during hip extension. International journal of sports medicine, 15(06), 330-334.
3)Koutedakis, Y. (2000). " Burnout” in Dance: the physiological viewpoint.