Sara Mearns getting into character--and headdress.

I was surprised to discover the dual role of Odette/Odile in New York City Ballet’s version of Swan Lake is so demanding that it must be shared by three ballerinas over six performances. As Teresa Reichlen succinctly puts it, a normal ballet lasts only 20 minutes, and the main ballerina isn’t even onstage for the entire time. In Swan Lake, however, the ballerina is onstage for nearly an hour total, over the course of a two-and-a-half hour ballet.

In this episode, Sara Mearns, Ashley Bouder and Reichlen are all preparing to dance the ballet—in drastically different ways. Bouder, for example, is all about her diet: She swears off soda, alcohol and anything that will dehydrate her for the two weeks leading up to the performance, and she takes potassium twice a day. Reichlen, on the other hand, just tries to dance as much as she possibly can in order to build up endurance. (Reichlen also cops to treating herself well in the way of dinner after a performance of Swan Lake, tallying up one meal’s list that includes two separate dinners, half a bottle of wine and a margarita. Basically, she’s awesome.)

As you might have expected, there’s no Black Swan rivalries or eating disorders on the minds of these dancers. Like true professionals, they’re focused instead on giving their best performances of a ballet that drains them physically and mentally.

Thinkstock

With Thanksgiving approaching, we're all ruminating on the things we are most thankful for in the world. Of course, as dance teachers, our students are always at the top of our list. They make us laugh, they make us cry and sometimes they make us want to pull our hair out, but at the end of the day, they are the reason for everything we do in the studio each day. To get you thinking about how much you love your dancers, here are five videos of kids dancing that are sure to make your heart happy! We want to see the dancers you're thankful for this season, too, so share your favorite videos on social media, tag us and include #gratitudedance in the caption. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
Thinkstock

No matter how hard I work to change it, I'm often told that I have a shallow plié. Is there any hope for improving the depth of my plié through special stretches to make it juicier? I'm doing a lot of exercises, but I don't seem to getting any results. Looking forward to reading your advice. Thanks!

Keep reading... Show less
Videos

When New York City–based dancer Dan Lai began choreographing Figure 8, he had a specific vision in mind. Inspired by a song by FKA Twigs, he wanted the movement to represent the music's "dark and twisted vibe." "My thought process was to make shapes and phrases that were abstract and unique that complimented the intricate beats of the music," he says.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Buzz
Thinkstock

Science has proven again, again that dancing is just, well, good for you. And not even in moderation. Like drinking water or laughing, there's no such thing as too much dancing. So, let's rejoice for this new dance perk to add to the list.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Health
To make dancers stronger and less injury-prone, Burns Wilson suggest adding floor barre or conditioning classes. Photo courtesy of Burns Wilson

With a career spanning 30-plus years in the dance field, Anneliese Burns Wilson has cultivated a unique perspective on health and injury prevention for dancers. From teaching ballet to teaching anatomy, she then founded ABC for Dance, which publishes dance-teaching materials. Now through research for her next book, which will focus on training the female adolescent dancer, she's delving even deeper into topics many dance teachers have overlooked.

Keep reading... Show less
Erdmann (left) on set for Hairspray Live. Courtesy of Erdmann

When Wicked ensemble member Kelli Erdman was training at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, her teacher Kirsten Cooper taught her that focused transitions would be pivotal to her success as a dancer. Now as a professional, Erdmann applies this advice to her daily performances, asserting that she will never let the details of her dancing get blurry.

Keep reading... Show less
How-To
Photo by Nancy Adler, courtesy of Maria Hanley

When a principal, teacher, or parent walks into a room and sees 20 children rolling around on the floor and then leaping for the sky (learning about level changes), or jumping about like frogs (in a role-playing improvisation activity), they might not always understand what's going on. That's why Deborah Damast, clinical assistant professor and artistic advisor of the dance education program at NYU Steinhardt, offered up several responses as to why this type of movement—often a precursor to formal ballet/tap/jazz classes—is so very important.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get DanceTeacher in your inbox

Win It!

Sponsored