Musings

The Injured Dancer

Posted by on 05.06.2015

The Injured Dancer

The ballet stage has a way of creating a fantasy world of perfection:  beautiful men and women adorned in glistening costumes dancing together in perfect unison.  Off-stage it’s a whole different story.  Not only is the road to the illusion of perfection a difficult one, but often comes with setbacks.  This is a story that is often discussed in dance circles, but rarely laid out for the audience: The injured dancer. With only two weekends of performances left in the season, at 5pm on an April afternoon in a rehearsal for the following day’s performance, vacation came early for me.  Amazingly in the moment when a dancer gets injured, the pain is not...

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Dancer’s Career Transition: Rachael Sage, Singer/Songwriter

Posted by on 09.09.2014

Dancer’s Career Transition: Rachael Sage, Singer/Songwriter

Through TENDUS’ series “Dancer’s Career Transition” my readers have seen numerous stories of past and present dancers chasing new dreams, finding that these individuals are all extremely successful at whatever they put their mind to.  Meet Singer/Songwriter Rachael Sage who grew up training at The School of American Ballet and has now become a well known soulful vocalist and innovative multi-instrumentalist.  She says that ballet helped her along this journey:  “ballet gave me the ability to hyperfocus which is really crucial to any creative process.”  Last week she appeared on the super popular, “Dance Moms” where...

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3D Printing Technology Creates the Ultimate Customized Toe Pad

Posted by on 09.07.2014

3D Printing Technology Creates the Ultimate Customized Toe Pad

We have all heard about the remarkable technology that is 3D printing. We hear about it’s impact in medicine, construction, aerospace, manufacturing, and much more. It’s possibilities seem endless. But have you thought about how 3D printing could impact your dancing? Cornell student Jenna Witzleben has. Under the tutelage of her Professor, Dr. Hod Lipson, Ms. Witzleben decided to create the ultimate customized toe pad for her pointe shoes. Through her paper, “Rethinking the ballet shoe: 3D Printing for dance performance enhancement,” Ms.Witzleben described her process, which involved making a mold of her foot then converting it into a digital file using a CT...

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Summer Teaching Diaries: Progressing Ballet Technique

Posted by on 08.27.2014

Summer Teaching Diaries: Progressing Ballet Technique

As a part of my research for my summer teaching over these last few months, I came across “Progressing Ballet Technique,” an innovating training program for classically trained ballet dancers.  Through my experience with my students, I observed a lot of weaknesses that I felt could be solved through pilates or other strength training techniques.  I knew that they needed some strengthening exercises added into their training to help with the elements of their technique that were lacking. Marie Walton-Mahon, a ballet educator for 39 years, decided to change the way her students approached their exercises.  Through her programs entitled “Progressing...

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Summer Teaching Diaries: Challenges of Being a Ballet Teacher

Posted by on 08.11.2014

Summer Teaching Diaries: Challenges of Being a Ballet Teacher

There are so few teaching opportunities out there at any given time, and even less for teachers who are young and not yet established.  Becoming a ballet teacher is a natural and common career transition for dancers as their careers come to a close.  Yet, so few dancers are able to really get a taste for teaching leading up to the inevitable transition.  So having the opportunity to start giving class as a current dancer, is a rare one. I learned long ago that just because you are, or used, to be a good dancer, does not make you a good teacher.  Please do not misunderstand, I am by no means calling myself a good dancer or a good teacher for that matter. I am just...

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Through a Social Media Movement, the ‘Bald Ballerina’ Raises Awareness of Breast Cancer in Young Women

Posted by on 07.27.2014

Through a Social Media Movement, the ‘Bald Ballerina’ Raises Awareness of Breast Cancer in Young Women

Meet Maggie Kudirka.  Some of you may know her from the Social Media movement, Bald Ballerina.  Maggie is a 23 year old ballet dancer, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer 2 months ago.  If you have not seen her Facebook page, or don’t yet follow her on Instagram/Twitter (@BaldBallerina), you really should.  You will immediately recognize a strong woman with an amazing spirit about her.  She has quickly decided to turn her journey into something to help others by raising awareness “that anyone can get breast cancer, even a healthy and fit ballet dancer.” This is a story you will want to share with everyone you know.  Maggie, we wish you...

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