Matthew Murphy for Pointe

Audition Advice from Three Top Summer Intensive Directors

For many students, attending a summer intensive can offer the chance of a lifetime to focus exclusively on dance and experience the rigorous lifestyle of a pre-professional dancer. But with so many options and increasing competition, auditions can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we gathered insider tips from three top summer program directors.



Tammy Cheney, Alonzo King LINES Ballet summer program director

"Take class with an open and curious spirit. Explore new ideas presented by the teacher. Dance with confidence. There are no mistakes, only opportunities. We look for well-trained, passionate, deep-thinking students with a ferocious work ethic who are eager to explore their artistry."

Tammy Cheney, left. LINES students photographed by Andy Mogg, right.


Patrick Armand, San Francisco Ballet School director

"Wear something that makes you feel confident, but keep it simple and clean. Take the time to warm up and get focused before the audition. Stay relaxed, have fun and remember to breathe. Don't let your nerves get in the way of enjoying the experience."

Patrick Armand teaching. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy SFB


Kate Lydon, ABT Studio Company and summer intensive artistic director

"We are looking for technique, artistry, musicality and intelligence. But perhaps most importantly, we look for potential. We notice the dancers who seem to have the desire and passion to learn and who are open to corrections and improving."

Kate Lydon teaching. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy ABT

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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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