As she recovered from a broken foot, U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen needed a low-impact way to warm up. She found dancing. “I couldn’t run, but I could stand in place and dance, so that’s what I’ve been doing,” the 21-year-old told "TODAY." And once the cameras caught her rocking out to her headphones before her races in Sochi, it was all over. America fell in love.
Hansen isn’t trained in dance, but her unabashed get-pumped breakdowns—exclusively to Beyoncé, she says—are so fun to watch. And she pulls off glides, body rolls and a little pop-and-locking way better than the average hip-hop newbie.
She didn’t medal this year—one stuffy sports announcer blames her lack of a more luge-specific warm-up routine—but we’ll keep an eye out for her on the next “Dancing with the Stars.” (And as a student at Brigham Young University, perhaps she'll stumble into some dance training with Jodi Maxfield!) In the meantime, check out these moves and just try not to smile.
Photo: Alexander Hassenstein, Getty Images
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.