The second-to-last episode of “city.ballet.” is about injuries—that is, a dancer’s worst nightmare. Whether you’re a principal with New York City Ballet or you have a solo spot in your studio’s opening recital number, an injury can seriously derail your dancing. The two most important takeaways from this webisode? Number one: City Ballet dancers have top-of-the-line physical therapy. Claire Von Enck, a new corps de ballet member, has a stress fracture—so she gets this magical foot contraption that she has to squeeze gel inside! (Looks complicated but good at healing.) Nearly every other shot in this episode is of the dancers getting intense massages. Craig Hall, a soloist (and one of my favorites), had ruptured his Achilles tendon onstage, and he’s constantly in one-on-one physical therapy meetings.
Number two? Injuries are the same all over. They’re incredibly frustrating, but there’s something refreshing in knowing that even the seemingly unflappable Chase Finlay gets frustrated. (Talking about his broken foot: “For chrissake, it’s the first week of the season!”)
I developed a lovely little injury called “turf toe” as a junior in college (spraining the ligaments near the big toe joint, so called because football players who play on artificial turf often develop it), right before an important adjudication showing for our college dance department. I was dancing in four pieces, and I could feel how difficult it was for my choreographers to not freak out over whether I’d be ready to dance in time. It was so difficult not to dance for those couple of weeks; I had people depending on me, and I needed to not only make a full recovery but also seamlessly integrate myself into these dances with little actual rehearsal, post-recovery.
How do you keep your dancers from getting frustrated over injuries? What’s your best advice for dancers who have to sit on the sidelines while an injury heals?
Marketing is a vital part of operating and sustaining your business, but figuring out what works best for your studio requires creativity and trial and error. The good news is that today—thanks to technology—it's easier than ever to use DIY marketing. Below, learn from the experiences of four studio owners: how they tackled different marketing strategies and what did (and didn't) translate into paying customers—plus, advice from an expert on how to up your game.
You know how some people lust over the interiors of beautiful homes? Scandinavian aesthetics, marble countertops, chrome appliances? That's how I feel when I look at images of gorgeous dance studios. And I'm willing to bet you feel the same—which is why I've been drooling over photos of the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center.
I recently watched your YouTube video on exercises for the intrinsic muscles of the feet. I have a question about the doming exercise. When doing the movement, I find it impossible to keep my toes long. The same is true for when I point my feet. I have a hard time lengthening my toes, and I feel a limited range of motion in the front of my ankle. Is there anything I can do to fix this?
Starting this Saturday, the Children's Museum of Manhattan on the Upper West Side will have an interactive dance exhibit called "Let's Dance!" Basically every facet of dance is featured in the exhibit: kids can explore lighting design with a special child-friendly lighting box; choreograph with the use of props, signs and costumes; create accompaniment with percussion instruments; manipulate posable figures; see incredible dance photography and video; and, best of all, interact with the dance portal, where they can watch, learn and interact with professional and student dance companies like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dancing Classrooms, Mark Morris Dance Group and Martha Graham Dance Company. Whew. That's a LOT of great stuff.