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Back in 2011, Yale University's dean of science was thinking about refreshing the program's offerings for non-majors when he happened upon a Pilobolus performance. A light bulb went off: Dance is full of physics.

That realization led to what has become an eight-year collaboration between particle physicist Sarah Demers and former New York City Ballet dancer Emily Coates, both professors at Yale who were brought together to co-teach a course called The Physics of Dance. Their partnership has involved everything from directing a short film to presenting a TedX Talk and performing a piece that Coates created, commissioned by Danspace Project. This month, they're publishing a book about what they've discovered by dialoging across two seemingly disparate disciplines.

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It includes this familiar face! (Erin Baiano)

Something's coming, I don't know when
But it's soon...maybe tonight?

Those iconic lyrics have basically been our #mood ever since we first heard a remake of the West Side Story film, directed by Steven Spielberg and choreographed by Justin Peck, was in the works. THE CASTING. THE CASTING WAS COMING.

Well, last night—after an extensive search process that focused on finding the best actors within the Puerto Rican/Latinx community—the WSS team finally revealed who'll be playing Maria, Anita, Bernardo, and Chino (joining Ansel Elgort, who was cast as Tony last fall). And you guys: It is a truly epic group.

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New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin. Photo by Nick Nakahara, Courtesy Pazcoguin.

As conversations in the ballet world about race and representation have opened up in the past few years, its most beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, has come under scrutiny as well. Last year New York City Ballet made changes to its second act Chinese Tea variation, removing elements of racial caricature from both the costume and makeup and the choreography.

NYCB soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, who is part Filipino, was one of the voices fighting for that change. This year, as companies and schools worldwide are gearing up for Nutcracker season, Pazcoguin, along with former dancer and arts administrator Phil Chan, is back with a new campaign. Final Bow For Yellowface is an online platform dedicated to educating companies and schools on how to veer away from offensive Asian stereotypes (yellowface) and providing resources on how to make those changes. The site also lets readers join dance world luminaries including Virginia Johnson, Julie Kent, Adam Sklute, Troy Schumacher and Christopher Wheeldon in signing a pledge to end the practice of yellowface onstage. We touched base with Pazcoguin to hear about how this initiative came to be, and what she and Chan have in the works for the future.

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New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin. Photo by Nick Nakahara, Courtesy Pazcoguin.

As conversations in the ballet world about race and representation have opened up in the past few years, its most beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, has come under scrutiny as well. Last year New York City Ballet made changes to its second act Chinese Tea variation, removing elements of racial caricature from both the costume and makeup and the choreography.

NYCB soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, who is part Filipino, was one of the voices fighting for that change. This year, as companies and schools worldwide are gearing up for Nutcracker season, Pazcoguin, along with former dancer and arts administrator Phil Chan, is back with a new campaign. Final Bow For Yellowface is an online platform dedicated to educating companies and schools on how to veer away from offensive Asian stereotypes (yellowface) and providing resources on how to make those changes. The site also lets readers join dance world luminaries including Virginia Johnson, Julie Kent, Adam Sklute, Troy Schumacher and Christopher Wheeldon in signing a pledge to end the practice of yellowface onstage. We touched base with Pazcoguin to hear about how this initiative came to be, and what she and Chan have in the works for the future.

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New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin. Photo by Nick Nakahara, Courtesy Pazcoguin.

As conversations in the ballet world about race and representation have opened up in the past few years, its most beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, has come under scrutiny as well. Last year New York City Ballet made changes to its second act Chinese Tea variation, removing elements of racial caricature from both the costume and makeup and the choreography.

NYCB soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, who is part Filipino, was one of the voices fighting for that change. This year, as companies and schools worldwide are gearing up for Nutcracker season, Pazcoguin, along with former dancer and arts administrator Phil Chan, is back with a new campaign. Final Bow For Yellowface is an online platform dedicated to educating companies and schools on how to veer away from offensive Asian stereotypes (yellowface) and providing resources on how to make those changes. The site also lets readers join dance world luminaries including Virginia Johnson, Julie Kent, Adam Sklute, Troy Schumacher and Christopher Wheeldon in signing a pledge to end the practice of yellowface onstage. We touched base with Pazcoguin to hear about how this initiative came to be, and what she and Chan have in the works for the future.

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Shelby Williams via @biscuitballerina

Fall is arguably the best season of the year, and "Falling Fridays" are arguably the best day of the week on the @biscuitballerina Instagram page. So, we thought it was only fitting that we combine the two "bests" for a fall-tastic post today!

Heaven bless @biscuitballerina for making us laugh day in and day out. SHE. IS. EVERYTHING.

Get ready to laugh 'til you cry, ladies and gentleman.

There's just nothing that can hit your funny bone like watching dancers eat it!

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Stacey Tookey and student at Camp Protégé via @sjtookey on Instagram

There are certain dance teachers out there who have a gift for making students feel loved, cared about, capable, encouraged and inspired—all at the same time. They're beautiful sparks of light in the midst of this competitive and at times exhausting industry.

Three of those special souls happen to have a gigantic reach through conventions and television, and have somehow made each and every one of us feel like they're our second moms. Don't believe me? Go take (or observe) class from anyone of them and then try to tell me they don't love you as their own!

Check 'em out below, and then share a time one of them said something that made you feel important and validated!

xoxo

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Being a dance teacher is hard work, but at the end of the day, it's one of the most gratifying jobs you could ever have! You're spreading the goodness of dance into the hearts of young children—it's positively magnificent!

The world needs love right now, and because you're giving it with all your hearts, it's only fitting you get a lot of it in return!

Here's a reminder of some of the most the gratifying dance teacher moments that make it all worth it!

Enjoy!

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Just for Fun

Being a dance teacher is hard work, but at the end of the day, it's one of the most gratifying jobs you could ever have! You're spreading the goodness of dance into the hearts of young children—it's positively magnificent!

The world needs love right now, and because you're giving it with all your hearts, it's only fitting you get a lot of it in return!

Here's a reminder of some of the most the gratifying dance teacher moments that make it all worth it!

Enjoy!

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Just for Fun
Mackenzie Foy as Clara and Keira Knightly as Sugar Plum star in this new Nutcracker spin-off. Photo by Laurie Sparham, Courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc.

If there's one thing that dancers know well, it's The Nutcracker. From the minutiae of the plot to the choreography to Tchaikovsky's timeless score, we've got it down.

Disney's new holiday film, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, released in theaters November 2, is not a retelling of the ballet's story, and it's not a dance movie. Nevertheless, we think there's plenty in it for bunheads to love (like Misty Copeland). Don't believe us? First, watch this featurette featuring Copeland, and then read on for four reasons why you might want to take a break from your Nut rehearsals to head to the movies.

Disney's The Nutcracker and The Four Realms - "On Set with Misty Copeland" Featurette www.youtube.com

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Mackenzie Foy as Clara and Keira Knightly as Sugar Plum star in this new Nutcracker spin-off. Photo by Laurie Sparham, Courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc.

If there's one thing that dancers know well, it's The Nutcracker. From the minutiae of the plot to the choreography to Tchaikovsky's timeless score, we've got it down.

Disney's new holiday film, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, released in theaters November 2, is not a retelling of the ballet's story, and it's not a dance movie. Nevertheless, we think there's plenty in it for bunheads to love (like Misty Copeland). Don't believe us? First, watch this featurette featuring Copeland, and then read on for four reasons why you might want to take a break from your Nut rehearsals to head to the movies.

Disney's The Nutcracker and The Four Realms - "On Set with Misty Copeland" Featurette www.youtube.com

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Just for Fun

Feet are game changers, people! Teach your dancers how to use them correctly, and they can be one of their most powerful tools! Fail to do so, and they'll become, well, a liability to them.

Here are five things every dancer should do each day to achieve blue ribbon–worthy feet!

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Via @preppykitchen on Instagram

For whatever reason, dance-educator skills and craft skills seem to go hand in hand—that and the fact that every one of you is a serious overachiever.

We know that for many of you the idea of picking up a bag of generic grocery-store candy is BORING. So, to help you go the extra mile while flexing your craft skills, we've rounded up five deliciously adorable Halloween-treat ideas for you to take to dance class this October 31! Tell your kids they can thank us for their joy 💁.

Take a picture of the treats you make for class and tag us in them! We want to see your masterpieces!

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Halloween isn't just for the kiddos—teachers should be able to get in on the action, too!

You're performers at heart, so don't let adulthood take away this opportunity to dress up as someone fierce and fabulous!

Check out these Halloween costumes from dancers last year to help give you the costume inspiration you need this year. Your students will think you're the coolest teacher of all time—trust us!

You're welcome!

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This week everyone's going to haunted houses, watching scary movies and playing murder-mystery games to get into the spooky spirit. Those things are all fine and dandy, but they're not where the REAL terror is found for dance educators this season. No, no, for dance teachers looking for a real fright, the scariest things they'll see all year are found inside the four walls of their dance classroom.

Check out this list of the Top 7 Spookiest Things You'll Ever See In A Dance Class, and you won't sleep for weeks!

Enjoy your terror!!!

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Via Odyssey Dance Theater on Instagram

Halloween is on the horizon, which means we should all be embracing the spookiest aspects of the season. If you're a dancer (or dance lover), your list of holiday fun should include watching some seriously fabulous Halloween-themed dancing. Whether it's a live show in a city near you, binge watching old Halloween episodes of your favorite television show, or digging into the black hole of dance videos on YouTube, trust us—it's a riot!

Here are three Halloween-themed dance performances you should DEFINITELY check out!

Have a terrifying time!!!

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Shelby Williams as her alter ego, Biscuit Ballerina. Photo by Nicha Rodbon, Courtesy Williams.

Last fall, Instagram's dance community blew up when an account titled Biscuit Ballerina started posting videos of an anonymous dancer doing laughably bad ballet. With a look of fierce determination, she would awkwardly make her way through well-known variations, stumbling over her pointe shoes. Comments ranged from hilarity to criticism to confusion: Who was this dancer?

The answer is Shelby Williams, a soloist with Royal Ballet of Flanders. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Williams didn't become serious about ballet until age 11. At 15 she left home to train year-round at The Washington School of Ballet, and a year later transferred to the Houston Ballet Academy, where she quickly entered Houston Ballet II. As a student, Williams often felt crippled by self-criticism. "I was doing something I was passionate about every day, but I hated it," she says. Eventually she went to a sports psychologist who helped her learn how to enjoy the process and not take herself too seriously. After class, instead of feeling ashamed by the mistakes she'd made, Williams started to overexaggerate what she'd done, making herself and her classmates laugh.

Shelby Williams. Photo by Kensilav Kanev/De-Da Productions, Courtesy Williams.

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As dance teachers, we know we need to take care of our feet—they're basically our livelihood! But in the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day, it can be hard to find the time. If we're feeling wise, we start by wearing orthotics (brilliant!) and staying away from shoes that put pressure on the wrong areas of our feet while outside of the studio (yasss, queen). Most commonly, though, we decide to get a pedicure (hello, self-care 💁♀️). This is suuuuuper-helpful in terms of personal hygiene, but as all dancers know, you can count on dealing with a few headaches that most regular pedi-partakers don't.

Here's a list of things that are guaranteed to happen every time a dancer gets a pedicure. It's sure to make you say "mmmmm-hmmmmm!!!!!"

If you know, you know.

Get ready to laugh out loud, people!

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Just for Fun
Melanie Moore and Ricky Ubeda enjoying the season (via Instagram, @rickyubeda11)

Fall festivities are finally in full swing and we couldn't be happier! Whether we're watching "Dancing with the Stars" or catching up with our friends after rehearsal, fall is the BEST time of year. Here are 7 reasons why it's a dancer's favorite season.

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Just for Fun
Melanie Moore and Ricky Ubeda enjoying the season (via Instagram, @rickyubeda11)

Fall festivities are finally in full swing and we couldn't be happier! Whether we're watching "Dancing with the Stars" or catching up with our friends after rehearsal, fall is the BEST time of year. Here are 7 reasons why it's a dancer's favorite season.

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Just for Fun

The "In My Feelings" challenge took the internet by storm last summer, and we have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed how dancey the internet got for a hot second.

Some of the best editions of the challenge came from some fabulous young ballet dancers, and before the challenge becomes 100 percent irrelevant, we wanted to post one of our favorites for your perusal. You've just got to enjoy Kiki from a classical perspective—am I right?

Share your best "In My Feelings" challenge videos in our comments! We're not ready for this internet phase to end, and we plan to ride it out as long as possible 💁.

You're welcome.

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