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These 5 Dancers Took On The #bottlecapchallenge, and We Can't Get Over the Results

Oh, internet challenges... We don't know who starts them or where they come from, but we definitely love it when dancers get involved.

The past few weeks have seen the rise of the #bottlecapchallenge, which involves someone kicking the top off of a plastic bottle. The slow-motion videos show the cap neatly spinning off. Of course, everyone from dogs to celebs have tried their hand (er, foot?) at the challenge. But ballerinas have taken it to the next level. As far as we can tell, Cuban dancer Marlen Fuerte Castro was the first to add a ballet spin: fouetté turns.


We've rounded up some of our favorite dance takes.

Marlen Fuerte Castro

Marlen Fuerte Castro's focus and precision are remarkable. And, even better, she doesn't let the challenge stop her from finishing with an easy triple.

Petra Conti

Castro challenged international guest artist Petra Conti, who rose to the occasion. We love her giant, well-deserved smile when she finishes.

Alex Wong

"So You Think You Can Dance" all-star Alex Wong challenged Jennifer Garner, though she's yet to show us what she's got (Jennifer, we're ready whenever you are!).

Ashley Coupal

Orlando Ballet trainee Ashley Coupal was also inspired by Castro's skills. If Aquafina's marketing team is looking for a new model, we've found one!

Andrea Freitez

Venezuela-based ballet student Andrea Freitez took on the challenge as well, whipping out her own set of fouettés.

Ready to take on the #bottlecapchallenge? Tag us on Instagram; we'd love to see your version!

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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.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
December 2020