Yoga in Times Square Welcomes Summer

Amidst the commotion of New York City, it might be easy to forget about the summer solstice—but not for yogis. Friday, June 21 was the longest day of 2013 and the first official day of summer. Yoga enthusiasts arrived in Times Square as the sun rose to usher in the new season, with a united-we-pose mindset.

Officially called “Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga,” the 11th annual event offered a challenge to its participants: “Anyone can find tranquility on top of a mountain. Can you find it in the middle of Times Square?”

Yoga in Times Square means coping with pollution, crowding, surrounding noise. But the all-star team of instructors for the event knew how to bring everyone to a collective “Ohm” before long.

Five outdoor yoga classes were offered across five busy blocks of Broadway between 7:30am and 9:00pm, making good use of the ample daylight. Organizers granted free yoga mats to the first 1,200 to arrive to each class and hosted three 15-minute yoga-wear fashion shows throughout the course of the day.

By the end of the event, over 15,000 participants could meditate on their success of finding peace in the city that never sleeps.

Photo of participants by Lucas Jackson

Teaching Tips
Courtesy Jill Randall

Fall may be fast-approaching, but it's never too late to slip in a little summer reading—especially if it'll make you all the more prepared for the perhaps crazier-than-usual season ahead.

Here are six new releases to enrich your coming school year:

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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

Studio owners who've been in the recital game for a while have likely seen thousands of dance costumes pass through their hands.

But with the hustle and bustle of recital time, we don't always stop to think about where exactly those costumes are coming from, or how they are made.

If we want our costumes to be of the same high quality as our dancing—and for our costume-buying process to be as seamless as possible—it helps to take the time to learn a bit more about those costumes and the companies making them.

We talked to the team at A Wish Come True—who makes all their costumes at their factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania—to get an inside look at what really goes into making a costume, from conception to stage.

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Studio Owners

Jana Belot's 31-year-old New Jersey–based Gotta Dance has six studios, 1,720 students and, usually, 13 recitals. In a normal year, Belot rents a 1,000-seat venue for up to 20 consecutive days and is known for her epic productions, featuring her studio classes and Gotta Dance's pre-professional dance team, Showstoppers. Until March, she was planning this year's jungle-themed recital in this same way.

When the pandemic hit, Belot soon decided to do a virtual recital instead. Due to the scale of the production—300 to 500 dancers performing in each of the 13 shows—postponing or moving to an outdoor venue wasn't practical. (Canceling, for her, was out of the question.)

Unsurprisingly, Belot's virtual recital was just as epic as her in-person shows—with 10,000 submitted videos, animation, musicians and more. Here's how it all came together, and what it cost her.

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