Announcing the 2015 Dance Magazine Awards

Soledad Barrio

Karen Kain

A soulful flamenco idol, a princely partner, a determined leader, a beloved scholar, a boundary-breaking choreographer. This year, Dance Magazine honors five dance luminaries who have pushed our field forward and made dance an even richer art form. We are delighted to present 2015 Dance Magazine Awards to flamenco star Soledad Barrio, American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, National Ballet of Canada artistic director Karen Kain, dance historian and archivist David Vaughan and Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

David Vaughan with Pepper Fajans

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

The ceremony to celebrate these amazing dance artists will take place December 7 at 7:30 pm at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York. As The New York Times has put it, “As far as dance celebrities are concerned, the annual Dance Magazine Awards is as close as they come to a star-studded event.” Mikhail Baryshnikov will present the award to Kain; Millicent Johnnie to Zollar, Julie Kent to Gomes, Martín Santangelo to Barrio and Valda Setterfield to Vaughan. Members of Urban Bush Women and ABT will dance in tribute to these honorees, and Barrio will perform along with live flamenco musicians. Tickets are available for $50. To purchase, contact Nicole Buggé at 212-979-4872 or

Marcelo Gomes

Clockwise from top left: Photo by Chris Bennion, courtesy Noche Flamenca; Karolina Kuras, courtesy NBoC; Crush Boone, courtesy UBW; Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT; Gilbert Gaytan.


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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.

December 2020