This Studio in Brooklyn Hasn't Had Heat Since November. So It's Throwing a Dance Party

Dance artists, as a rule, are a resilient bunch. But working in a studio in New York City without heat or electricity in the middle of winter? That's not just crazy; it's unhealthy, and too much to ask of anyone.

Unfortunately, Brooklyn Studios for Dance hasn't had heat since mid-November, making it impossible for classes or performances to take place in the community-oriented center.

So what's a studio to do? Throw a massive dance party, of course.


The dance party, which will take place on Saturday, January 19, starting at 9 pm, has an "Outdoor Fabulous" dress code (no heat, remember?) and a call for donations to BkSD's emergency fundraiser. The studio has been attempting to raise $15,000 since late December.

Not only has the studio been unable to operate since November 15 due to the unsafe conditions created by the cold temperatures, but its landlord is also attempting to evict BkSD, which has resided at Cadman Memorial Congregational Church since the two organizations partnered to renovate its gymnasium into a studio in 2015. Per BkSD's fundraising plea:

In January 2016 we signed a 5-year Occupancy Agreement with Church Board of Trustees. Since then the Church Leadership has gone through a transition. They no longer want BkSD to remain at Cadman Church and have challenged the legitimacy of our original agreement. In the past year and a half we have dealt with sporadic lock-outs, eviction threats, and loss of heat. Our attempts to mediate with the Church have not succeeded and they are pursuing eviction of BkSD in Local Civil Court.

So if you're in the New York City area this weekend and want to get down for a good cause, head to 210 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. You'll be braving the cold to help make BkSD warm again.

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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.

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December 2020