Our last camp of Summer 16' took place last week and boy, was it a good one! The camp ran from 10am - 5pm, Sunday, August 21st - Friday, August 26th and the studio was full of hard working Mattierin Muffins eager to kick start the new dance season.
We started the week off slow and then worked our way up to a high level of training. Although most of our dancers had attended drop in classes throughout the summer, even to the most fit dancer, this week was sure to be a tough one...and a tough one it was!
Each day, we did good lengthy warm ups with cardio, barre work, dynamic stretching and drills. Technique, proper body alignment and full body fitness is extremely important to us and vital to a dancer's health and success. At this level in dancing, the training is intense and dancers push their bodies to new levels. In order to prevent injury and continue to have the ability to grow as a dancer, we ensure that our dancers are given all of the tools needed to stay on top of their game.
A good majority of our time in the studio was spent dancing, of course! With dancers new to the Championship level having their sights set on the Oireachtas (World Championship Qualifier held in November, 2016) and current dancers wanting to reach new goals, there was a lot of work to do! Reels, slip Jigs, heavy jigs, hornpipes and set dances galore! What more was there to do?
Have FUN! Although we worked extremely hard, everyone was all smiles. Working towards their goals, focussing in on new material for the upcoming dance year and training like wicked hot dancers. Each day ended with a workout. We played our own version of Duck Duck Dance (with exercises and sprints), did the Chicken Dance (burps anyone? YAY!) and sang the Hokey Pokey all while turning ourselves about in a sumo squat!
We also made our way through variety of HIIT workouts, relays, circuit training, pyramid workouts and tabatas! Not only is it important to train as a dancer but as an athlete. With the ways in which Irish Dancing has progressed over the years, it's no longer one or the other. In order to leap into the air, land safely, all while spinning and keeping the upper body still, dancers must have the strength to do it. Our studio is fully equipped with a variety of exercise equipment geared towards cross-training for our dancers.
Even though it was a week of hard work, sweating, stretching and pushing our bodies to the limits, our dancers all came out smiling, stronger and ready to leap into the 2016-2017 dance season with a fiery passion!
The best part of it all? Getting to do it all with friends who have the same love and dedication for our wonderful dance form, and who push you and motivate you to make it through the hard days. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends!
Check out or Instagram or Facebook page for videos from our week at Champ Camp!