Photo by Hollywood Dance Shoot, Courtesy Krouse

25 to Watch 2018: Kolton Krouse

There's a delicious bit of mischief in everything Kolton Krouse does. He'll toss off some impossibly difficult sequence—a quintuple pirouette into a prolonged développé into an aerial, say—and end with an impish smile that's the stage equivalent of saying, "How good was that? And how much fun did I have doing it?"


The 21-year-old brings that sense of fun to all his dance pursuits. Currently a junior at The Juilliard School, he performed in CATS on Broadway on and off during 2016 and 2017. (For a few months, he was committed to both Juilliard and CATS full-time.) And he regularly posts virtuosic Instagram clips showcasing his contemporary and commercial skills, including Beyoncé-caliber heels work.

Krouse's versatility is unsurprising given his background as a do-it-all competition kid: He earned the National Senior Male Outstanding Dancer title at New York City Dance Alliance in 2014. "I don't ever want to be boxed into one thing—'Oh, you're a theater dancer' or 'Oh, you're a commercial dancer,' " he says. "I want to do a bit of everything, without limitations."


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

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December 2020