A Few Other Things to Be Thankful For

As everything about our world gets more and more unstable and the concern for safety mounts, Thanksgiving approaches and it’s time to count our blessings.

As dancers we are fortunate to have found a path that engages us. A path that gives us focus, discipline and glimpses of beauty. A path that does not degrade the environment or turn people into refugees. A path that is nourished by our teachers. A path that helps us become whole human beings.

For many of us, we are thankful that our grandparents or other relatives landed on these shores at a time when immigrants were welcome. (Obviously those of us whose families were forced onto reservations or interned as unwanted citizens, or brought here as slaves may feel differently.) Many of us are thankful that we have the opportunity to work with, or witness, or be wowed by dancers and choreographers from many different countries.

Thankful that we live in a time of exciting choreography and amazing dancers. A time when aspiring dancers can choose between training in an international dance center or a college or university dance department.

Thankful that we live in a place where we are free to dance, where we have enough food to eat. A place where we can gather and dance together or watch performances together mostly without the threat of violence (although that is now questionable). A place where we can share things we love in the studio, in the theater, and on the internet.

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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