Once upon a time, a long, long time ago back in the 1980s, ski ballet was a sport. At the Olympics. Yes, it's hard to fathom, but there was, in fact, an event, (technically a demonstration sport) at the 1988 Calgary Games and the 1992 Albertville Games, that entailed performing to music on a ski slop, with full skis and poles. One athlete even sported gold lamé sleeves on his ski suit. Although it was called "ski ballet," it's more like an eclectic celebration of ice skating meets gymnastics, with a ski base, and a dash of baton twirling.
The only question to be asked: Why is this still not a thing? Do yourself a favor, stop everything and watch these amazing highlights from this forgotten, yet wildly fantastic hybrid sport.
P.S. You're welcome.
Every year, DT honors four outstanding dance educators. Past recipients of the Dance Teacher Awards have included studio owners, professors, program directors and more, whose specialties run the gamut of dance genres. We need your help to find this year's best in the profession. Do you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized as a leader and role model? (Of COURSE you do! Who first opened your eyes to dance? Who's mentored you in your own path to becoming a dance teacher? Who saw you hiding in the back row and sought you out after class to take an interest in your dance studies? Who introduced you to modern dance? Who helped you nail fouetté turns?) Nominate him or her for a 2018 Dance Teacher Award!
No doubt turning the dream of owning a dance company into a fully operational business is a tough feat. From finding studio space, marketing, securing funding and more, it can all be very daunting. The challenge of taking a dance-related business to new heights can be even greater if you are a person of color. However, it's not impossible. According to the 2012 census, there are 27.6 million businesses in the United States, and only 2.6 million are black-owned. In honor of Black History Month, DT spoke with several black-owned dance studios and companies and asked them to reflect on the significance race has had on their efforts to run the dance company of their dreams.
Is anybody else confused about why dance isn't an Olympic sport, yet??? I mean, honestly. Dancers train like Olympians every day! They can stun you with their technical prowess, wow you with their uncanny athletic ability AND make you cry all at the same time. Dancers are freaking magicians, and it's time we let them into the Olympics!
Here's who we'd want to see on Team USA if dance were a part of the Olympics. This team is STACKED! Check it out!
In honor of Black History Month, here are some of the most influential and inspiring black dancers who paved the way for future generations.
Healing through movement has proven to be a powerful salve for pain, trauma and even disease. In an effort to explore her own grief, dancer and writer Suzanne Guillette created a piece titled Moving, for You: A Tribute to Empathy. The project, which initially honored a collection of other people's written personal stories of grief and loss, evolved into a short film of Guillette's improvisational movement. As one story contributor Lindsay McKinnon described it, "Suzie is 'singing over bones' and allowing those painful places to live and breathe, dance and be free."
Here is Guillette's journey that discovers and celebrates empathy and joy through dance.
When dancer and teacher Joy Ndombeson heard an elderly couple's love story, he was inspired to retell it through dance–the good and the bad. The piece titled Arnie and Brenda's Story: Love is a critique of the fairy tale about love that society sells, says Ndombeson. "The story that's unrealistic versus the real love, which is messy, hard but priceless and worth the work."
Last week the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg, a 14-year-old dancer, was among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Jaime trained at Dance Theatre in Coconut Creek, FL and was a member of the studio's DTX competition team. Dance Theatre owner Michelle McGrath Gerlick said this on Facebook:
You can join dancers across the nation in showing support for Jaime's family, her friends, and her dance community by wearing orange ribbons at competitions, in class, or at rehearsal this weekend. Our hearts go out to everyone who loves Jaime, and to everyone touched by the shooting in Parkland.
This article was orignally published on dancespirit.com.