Watch Peter Boal Trash-Talk as Pacific Northwest Ballet Makes Good on Their Super Bowl Bet with Boston

And you thought you’d never see ballet to Celtic punk music...

PNB artistic director Peter Boal

As we’ve discussed, one of the things we enjoy most about Super Bowl Sunday is watching the teams’ hometown dance companies get in on the competition. This year, before the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots faced off in Super Bowl XLIX, Pacific Northwest Ballet posed a challenge to Boston Ballet on social media: the losing team’s resident ballet company had to perform a dance to an iconic song of the winning city.

Showing off his dancers' athleticism...

The results are better than we could have hoped, especially considering Boston Ballet’s social media fans chose “Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys (a very loud, very non-ballet Massachusetts-based Celtic punk band, if you are not familiar). PNB dancers rose to the occasion, however, donning Seahawks gear (minus one rogue Packers fan) and showing off their skills—plus a little smack talk—to fulfill their end of the bargain. The football score may have said otherwise, but this definitely makes Seattle winners in our eyes.

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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Music
Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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