Women’s Offstage Role in Ballet

Posted by on 07.14.2016

“Ballet is woman.” – George Balanchine George Balanchine is often quoted as saying, “Ballet is woman.” Though a simple statement, his ballets illustrate a deep love and appreciation of women. Even as his ballets age, audiences are drawn to the way he flawlessly highlighted the beauty of the females who interpret his steps. He is known to offer moments of such simplicity that all the audience can do is admire a ballerina’s beauty. Looking back through the history of ballet, we find a similar influence: a large corps de ballet of female Willis, Swans, Flowers, etc. While male dancers offer irreplaceable influences in every ballet, their women...

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Jon Taylor: Capturing Dance In Unexpected Places

Posted by on 05.16.2016

Last month while visiting New York City for Miami City Ballet’s spring tour, I received a Facebook message from a local dance photographer, Jon Taylor, asking if I would be interested in doing a photoshoot with him. By exploring his social media accounts, I discovered gorgeous photos of dancers surrounded by cityscapes and other outdoor venues. You may say, sure, but many photographers capture dancers in settings other than the stage. And to that I say, no one is doing it quite like Jon. The day we met for my shoot, we went in search of a backdrop by exploring a rather quiet part of town. It was fascinating to watch him scoping different locations. It wasn’t...

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A New Year for New and Improved Technique 

Posted by on 01.19.2016

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 items to focus...

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3D Printing Technology Creates the Ultimate Customized Toe Pad

Posted by on 09.07.2014

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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A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

Posted by on 07.20.2014

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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Free People’s “Ballet” Campaign

Posted by on 05.19.2014

As many of you in the dance community have probably seen, the clothing company, Free People, has developed a ballet line.  But instead of considering the clothes, all we have been able to focus on for the last week are the photos and the videos published to promote the new line. The photos obviously indicate that the models had little to no ballet training, which is enough to upset professional dancers on it’s own.  Why would they choose to not use dancers when they likely had a large budget and could have done whenever they want?  As I monitored the social media response to these photos, my personal reaction was that there are a lot of similar ballet photos...

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