No one's ever claimed it's easy to dance on pointe--or even in tap shoes or ballroom heels--but can you imagine trying to be graceful and emotive with ice picks attached to your feet? By now you've heard that Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White took home the gold medal in ice dancing--the first gold-medal win in US history. (US team members Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished in eighth, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani finished ninth.) So where do ice skating and dancing overlap?
Just like many professional dancers, ice skaters engage in yoga, Pilates and strength-training off-ice to amp up their on-ice game. Trust is a huge part of ice dancing, just as it is with any ballet pas de deux--in fact, some of the lifts on the ice could be considered a bit more high-risk, since they all occur while the supporting partner is balanced on a few millimeters' worth of blade. (Costumes cost just as much, too: Skating dresses are all handmade to order, and they can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars apiece.)
Choreographers have taken note of the similarities between the two artforms and recently started to bridge the gap. Former New York City Ballet principal and artistic director of Miami City Ballet Edward Villella created Reveries for the Ice Theatre of New York last fall, and "Dancing with the Stars" superstar Derek Hough has been choreographing routines for Davis and White.
Stay tuned for the results of the ladies' figure skating Olympic competition: They'll be competing over the next few days.
Photo by Michael Kass, courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating Media Relations
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.