Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash

The Best Cross-Training for Dancers, According to 12 of Your Faves

Today, dancers are cross-training more than ever. And though there are some recommendations about what types of cross-training might be best for dancers' bodies, ultimately it comes down to what works for you.

We asked 13 pros about their go-to cross-training routines as part of our "Spotlight" series—and each one of them has a totally different approach:


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts

Roberts onstage in a spotlight. He wears shiny silver pants and an open red track jacket with no shirt underneath. He also wears a red cap. He crosses one leg in front of the other, and has his arms to the sides, one curved up and the other curved down.

Jamar Roberts in Talley Beatty's Stack-Up.

Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy Ailey

"Yoga is a daily necessity for mind, body and spirit."

San Francisco Ballet's Sarah Van Patten

Van Patten in the party scene. She is in attitude, with one arm in fifth position above her head and the other in second to the side. She wears a pink long sleeved-dress. Other party guests meander around her.

Van Patten in Romeo and Juliet

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

"Gyrotonic all day, every day."

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Luc Delahaye, Courtesy Gordon & Setterfield

Dance Magazine Award Honorees: David Gordon & Valda Setterfield

How to frame two lifetimes of work as broad and vibrant as that of choreographer David Gordon and performer Valda Setterfield? When onstage together, an invisible tether connects them, whether they're kibitzing, chiding, flirting or embracing a sense of melancholy.

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Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

NYCDA Is Redefining the Convention Scene Through Life-Changing Opportunities

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

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Stella Abrera in Alexei Ratmansky's The Seasons. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

Stella Abrera to Take on New Role as Artistic Director of Kaatsbaan

Yesterday, Kaatsbaan, the Tivoli, NY-based cultural park for dance, announced that Stella Abrera will join the organization as its new artistic director, effective January 1. This news come just weeks after we learned that Abrera will be taking her final bow with American Ballet Theatre in June.

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