Summer Intensive Essentials Packing Checklist

With summer right around the corner (how did that happen?!) and a return to in-person intensives for many dancers, it’s time to start preparing for your upcoming adventure! Whether you are going to be continuing your training locally or heading off to a new school for a few weeks, you'll want to be prepared for the long and exciting days ahead.
After a year of virtual training and long-distance dance classes, it might feel a little foreign to think of packing for a trip or even just being in the studio with other people.
To help make your packing a little easier, we’ve asked a few professionals and students to weigh in on what they absolutely couldn’t live without and compiled a checklist for you to use when the time comes! 
 Extra Pointe Shoes

It might sound obvious, but bringing extras of the essentials like pointe shoes and toe tape is key to being ready for the intense hours on your toes. Use lambs wool inside your shoes? Make sure to pack extra of that, too.

“I would definitely say to pack extra normal, prepared pointe shoes with elastics and ribbons all set to go… and pancaked ones, too!” 
-Ever Larson, Colorado Ballet

(Macadamia Pointe Paint is Ever’s go-to for pancaking!) Having your shoes pre-sewn will give you more time to hang out with your classmates when you’re not in the studio!

 Masks/Hand Sanitizer/Cleaning Supplies
We’ve all become used to the new normal of wiping down the barre, sanitizing our hands, and wearing a mask. Although the studio or school you're attending will probably have lots of supplies on hand, it's helpful to have a personal stash for yourself, too.

Be sure to throw in some travel sized packages of wipes and sanitizers for your dance bag, dorm room, and bus rides! A gentle sanitizer spray (like this Jao Refresher Sanitizing Spray) is a great multi-use product that can be used on your hands and feet to keep things safe and un-smelly! It uses Ethyl Alcohol (less drying) and a therapeutic blend of antiseptic essential oils like Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Geranium, and Sage. It can also be used as an underarm refresher in a pinch!

 Warm Up and Cool Down Accessories
Even if you're short on luggage space, your body will thank you for packing tools for rolling out and warming up.

"I always make sure to bring a foam roller to keep my muscles from getting tense during the long days. I also bring a Thera-band to warm up and strengthen my feet before class."
- Alex Owens, Next Generation Ballet Trainee

To save space, consider an all-in-one water bottle and foam roller like this Mobot hybrid. It comes in a variety of fun colors and sizes to fit in any suitcase or carry-on bag!

 First Aid Kit and Supplies
Since you’re generally going to be doing a lot more dancing every day than you’re used to, be prepared for unusual blisters and the unexpected. It's also an easy way to meet classmates on day one if you're the person with the spare bandaids (or bobby pins)!

“There’s always going to be either yourself or someone else who’s going to need a first aid kit.. whether it be for some antiseptic wipes or a bandaid for a blister!”
-Kealani Arata, Kirov Academy Student

Some of our other favorite remedies are Second Skin and Orajel for any bruised toenails or blisters that need a little extra love. 

 Fun and Colorful Leotards

“Even if [the dress code] says, “No colored leotards”, bring a few anyway for impromptu photo shoots with friends… or maybe you can sneak a colored leo in on the last day!”
-Ever Larson

We love the idea of showing your personality through your favorite leotard! And, you never know, you may have a jazz or musical theater teacher that allows for a more relaxed dress code!

Another fun idea is to bring a leotard you can swap with a new friend. Then, at the end of the intensive when you've packed your bags and said your goodbyes, you'll each have a memento of one another to remember all the good times and memories you made!

Epsom Salts

 “One of my essential must have items are Epsom salts. I usually pack one or two kinds because sometimes I need it to soak my feet and recover from the day.”
-Kealani Arata

If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times... Summer Intensives are are called intensives for a reason! Taking care of your body is so important to avoiding injury and keeping you on your feet during the strenuous weeks of classes and rehearsals. If your dorm room or living accommodation doesn't have a bath tub for soaking, grab your trash can and line it with a bag before soaking your ankles and feet after a long day.

Self Care Products

Need a fun and relaxing after-rehearsal activity? Try a D.I.Y. spa night! Paint your nails, put on a clay face mask, and turn on your favorite music to unwind with friends.

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