A still from the new documentary, DANSEUR. Image courtesy DANSEUR

According to the new documentary DANSEUR, 85% of males who study dance in the United States are bullied or harassed. A quote in the film from Dr. Doug Risner, faculty member at Wayne State University, states, "If this scope of bullying occurred in any activity other than dance, it would be considered a public health crisis by the CDC."

So why is it allowed to persist in ballet? And why aren't we talking about it more? These are the questions that DANSEUR seeks to answer. But primarily consisting of dance footage and interviews with male dancers like ABT's James Whiteside, Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and Boston Ballet's Derek Dunn, the film only addresses these issues superficially, with anecdotes about individual experiences and generalizations about what it's like to be a male dancer.

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Just for fun
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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Simon Ball and Frances Perez-Ball while at Boston Ballet (photo by Lisa Spinella, courtesy of the photographer)

To celebrate Valentine's Day in the most dance-centric way possible, we sat down with five powerhouse dance-teaching couples to talk about their love stories. What do they admire about each other? What are their couple goals and their teaching philosophies, and how do they make their relationships work, especially when they work together? Get ready to swoon!

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Just for fun
The multitalented Merritt Moore (photo by James Glader, courtesy Moore)

For the past decade, Merritt Moore has been living a double life as both a professional ballerina and a quantum physicist. While dancing with Zurich Ballet and Boston Ballet, she received her undergrad degree from Harvard in physics, and she's currently pursuing a PhD in quantum physics at Oxford while performing with English National Ballet and London Contemporary Ballet.

Now, Moore is hoping to add another ball to her juggling act: becoming an astronaut. She's one of 12 contestants competing on the BBC reality show " Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?" For six weeks, Moore and her competitors face a series of demanding physical and psychological challenges to see if they're astronaut material. (Show mentor Chris Hadfield, former Commander of the International Space Station, will recommend the winner to space agencies recruiting for astronauts.) Even in a cast of extremely accomplished people—the contestants include a military pilot, a surgeon, and a dentist who has summited Mount EverestMoore's unusual combination of skills stands out.

We leveled with the renaissance woman about how she's managed to pursue all her different passions.

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Just for fun
Via @physicsonpointe on Instagram

Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.

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Upper-level Boston Ballet School students take a partnering class. Photo by Igor Burlak Photography, courtesy of Boston Ballet School

Boston Ballet School has joined the list of schools that are official partners of the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition. As a partner, BBS offers competition winners scholarships for one year of training or a year-long apprenticeship with the company. Prix de Lausanne partners include American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Houston Ballet Academy, San Francisco Ballet School and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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Boston Ballet's Isaac Akiba and Erica Cornejo rehearsing Yury Yanowsky's Smoke and Mirrors

Before Isaac Akiba became a soloist with Boston Ballet, his Boston Ballet School teacher Kathleen Mitchell taught him that it's his responsibility to make every moment in class count.

“One time in class, it wasn’t my group’s turn to do the combination, and we were just standing there.  She said, ‘Every chance you get, you can be working on something. If you’re in the back, work on your arms.' I still think about that now when I take company class. You’re always able to learn something.”

See Akiba perform in Boston Ballet’s mixed repertory program Mirrors tonight through May 28 at The Boston Opera House.

Photo by Sabi Varga, courtesy of Boston Ballet

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Connecticut’s Greenwich Ballet Academy now offers free adaptive ballet classes for children with Down’s syndrome. Seventeen-year-old student Olivia Thurman created the program after seeing video footage of ballerina Keenan Kampa working with Boston Ballet’s adaptive-dance program. Inspired by what she saw, Thurman underwent training in adaptive-dance pedagogy at Boston Ballet and then held GBA’s first workshop last summer. The initial workshop was a success, and GBA has since added regular adaptive classes to its schedule. Students learn basic body positions and ballet terminology and develop strength, balance, coordination and social skills through classical ballet components and improvisational exercises.

Olivia Thurman (left) teaches a free adaptive ballet class at Greenwich Ballet Academy.

Photos: by Keelin Daly (for Hearst Connecticut Media), courtesy of Greenwich Ballet Academy

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