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A New Year for New and Improved Technique 

Posted by on 01.19.2016

A New Year for New and Improved Technique 

It’s January. A new year. A time for new beginnings. A time to commit to new resolutions. We are a few weeks into 2016.  How are your resolutions going? More importantly, how are your ballet resolutions coming along? If you have already given up on these resolutions, here is a reminder not to. Setting ballet goals for your year is very important. Unlike a resolution to hit the gym more often, you already know that you will be in the ballet studio on a regular basis during the year, so why not give yourself a few things to focus on that will benefit your technique? First, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Creating a manageable list of...

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Summer Intensives: Auditioning and Choosing the Right Program For You

Posted by on 01.08.2016

Summer Intensives: Auditioning and Choosing the Right Program For You

Ask any professional dancer about their training and you will find that many of their fondest memories are drawn from summer intensives. For five or six glorious weeks you get to visit a new place, dance all day, and make new life long friends. You experience new teachers, new styles, and new choreography. You find yourself away from the comfort of your home studio and get a taste of a whole different side to the dance world that you may not have known existed. But more importantly you begin to see what the world of professional ballet looks like, and it leaves you wanting more. Why are Summer Intensives so important to ballet training? For most ballet students,...

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Social Media Reacts to Misty Copeland’s Promotion To Principal at ABT

Posted by on 07.01.2015

Social Media Reacts to Misty Copeland’s Promotion To Principal at ABT

As you probably already know, yesterday American Ballet Theatre announced promotions for their upcoming season and with it came news that Misty Copeland will be ABT’s first African American Principal Dancer.  (Congrats Misty!) Normally news of promotions is huge in the ballet community, but this promotion was different.  Social Media was a buzz yesterday.  Have a look at the news by the numbers: __________________________________________ On June 30th, 2015, “Misty Copeland” was tweeted about over 25,000 times and the term ballet was found in over 27,000 tweets.  (Data courtesy of topsy.com.) In terms of Social Media, it’s not just the...

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Incorporating History into Dance Education

Posted by on 06.25.2015

Incorporating History into Dance Education

One of the great things about summer layoff, is that I have the wonderful opportunity to teach and coach the next generation of dancers.  Yesterday I sat down with my students and asked them if they had done the homework I had assigned to them on Monday.  A few hands shot up in the air with excitement.  “OK,” I told them, “Let’s talk about George Balanchine.” We started with his birth in 1904 in St. Petersburg, Russia and his death in New York in 1983 at age 79.  I asked them why they thought I had them research George Balanchine. That elicited some quick responses: “Because you want us to understand his style,” and “You wanted us to look up...

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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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A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

Posted by on 07.20.2014

A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self: __________________________________________ Dear Rebecca, It has been over 8 years since we have met.  Since then I have become a corps de ballet dancer with an internationally renowned company, toured across the world, had the opportunity to dance many of classical ballet’s most beloved works, and worked with today’s leading choreographers.  How did this happen you ask?  Sometimes I wonder the same thing.  After picking up some teaching gigs this summer, I decided that I would like to send you a note filled with the lessons I have learned, because everything looks different from the front of the studio. First,...

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