Style & Beauty

5 Non-Slip Socks for Contemporary Class

Via @apollaperformance on Instagram

Oh, socks: What are we gonna do with you? Many dancers—ourselves definitely included—have a love-hate relationship with this unassuming member of the footwear family. On the one hand, they feel oh-so-essential for pulling off endless turns in contemporary class. On the other hand, we've heard our fair share of horror stories from fellow dancers of catastrophic slips that led directly to serious injuries. Then what's a dancer to do? We're so glad you asked.

Below are five of our favorite dancer socks that won't let you down (literally or figuratively).


Behold, comp kid Carter Williams rocking Apolla Performance's Infinite Shocks. Apolla Shocks come with traction that starts out feeling sticky but can be "broken in" to your desired level of slip versus grip.

For all the minimalists out there, ToeSox's Relevé Half Toe makes effortless turns, well, effortless—all powered by organic cotton and minimal fuss.

Don't let the humble appearance of Capezio Extends fool you. These machine-washable bad boys boast a polyurethane outsole that works on a variety of surfaces, while the stretch nylon/spandex fabrication miraculously maintains that elusive barefoot feeling.

Discount Dance Supply's Natalie padded turn socks in Cherry (via discountdance.com)

Headed to a convention weekend? You'll want to pack the Natalie padded turn socks from Discount Dance Supply. Their cushioned ball of the foot is the answer to the prayer of dancers faced with carpet's unforgiving nature as a dance surface.

Valentine Pajtler, a dancer and business student in southern France, is the perfect model for Repetto's anti-slippery socks. They're clutch for warming up and doing floor barre.

In Memoriam
A flyer showing Alberto Alonso, Fernando Alonso, Benjamin Steinberg and Alicia Alonso. Photo courtesy the author

Alicia has died. I walked around my apartment feeling her spirit, but knowing something had changed utterly.

My father, the late conductor Benjamin Steinberg, was the first music director of the Ballet de Cuba, as it was called then. I grew up in Vedado on la Calle 1ra y doce in a building called Vista al Mar. My family lived there from 1959 to 1963. My days were filled with watching Alicia teach class, rehearse and dance. She was everything: hilarious, serious, dramatic, passionate and elegiac. You lost yourself and found yourself when you loved her.

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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Hansuke Yamamoto in Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker at San Francisco Ballet, which features an exciting and respectful Chinese divertissement. Photo by Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

It's Nutcracker time again: the season of sweet delights and a sparkling good time—if we're able to ignore the sour taste left behind by the outdated racial stereotypes so often portrayed in the second act.

In 2017, as a result of a growing list of letters from audience members, to New York City Ballet's ballet master in chief Peter Martins reached out to us asking for assistance on how to modify the elements of Chinese caricature in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Following that conversation, we founded the Final Bow for Yellowface pledge that states, "I love ballet as an art form, and acknowledge that to achieve a diversity amongst our artists, audiences, donors, students, volunteers, and staff, I am committed to eliminating outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians (Yellowface) on our stages."

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Dance & Activism
Allegra Bautista in Nevertheless, by ka·nei·see | collective. Photo by Robbie Sweeny

An audience member once emailed Dallas choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, claiming his work was vulgar. It complained that he shouldn't be pushing his agenda. As the artistic director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Peugh's recent choreography largely deals with LGBTQ issues.

"I got angry when I saw that email, wrote my angry response, deleted it, and then went back and explained to him that that's exactly why I should be making those works," says Peugh.

With the current political climate as polarized as it is, many artists today feel compelled to use their work to speak out on issues they care deeply about. But touring with a message is not for the faint of heart. From considerations about how to market the work to concerns about safety, touring to cities where, in general, that message may not be so welcome, requires companies to figure out how they'll respond to opposition.

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