Ballet Hispánico's Melissa Fernandez and Llyvan Verdecia. Photo by Jessica Wyatt, courtesy Michelle Tabnick PR

We're Drooling Over These 9 Dancers' Summer Weddings

Love is always in the air during summer wedding season...particularly for ballet dancers who are putting their company layoffs to good use.

Over the past few months, lots of dancers have used their time away from the studio to say their vows and maybe squeeze in a honeymoon before the fall season starts. Take a peek at some of our favorite dancer-ly ceremonies—we dare you not to say, "Awww."

New York City Ballet's Sterling Hyltin got her happily ever after—and isn't afraid to show it.

New York City Ballet principal Sterling Hyltin tied the knot with Ryan Bailes, a research analyst at an investment management firm, and looked about as happy as a bride can be.

Staatsballett Berlin's Luciana Voltolini had a dreamy destination wedding.

Staatsballett Berlin soloist Luciana Voltolini (who used to dance with American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet) married German cinematographer, musician and designer John Tyler Vesneski in a seaside ceremony in Split, Croatia. The delicate details of her dress were almost as jaw-dropping as the Adriatic coastline that served as the backdrop to their vows.

Joffrey Ballet's April Daly and Miguel Angel Blanco performed the most elegant first dance.

The wedding of Joffrey dancers April Daly and Miguel Angel Blanco came complete with a costume change for the bride—and plenty of dancers attending as guests and members of the wedding party.

Ballet Hispánico dancers Melissa Fernandez and Lyvan Verdecia had their romance immortalized in The New York Times.

Ballet Hispánico's Melissa Fernandez and Lyvan Verdecia returned to where they met—Havana—for a ceremony on the beach at Club Havana. The New York Times' Vows column went all in on the epic story of their romance.

National Ballet of Canada's Skylar Campbell and Jaclyn Oakley looked like they stepped out of a wedding fashion spread.

National Ballet of Canada principal Skylar Campbell and corps member Jaclyn Oakley said "I do" on June 30 in Campbell's home state of California. The pair met in 2009 at Banff Summer Arts Festival, just prior to joining NBoC as apprentices.

American Ballet Theatre's April Giangeruso went full glam as a bride.

Earlier this month, American Ballet Theatre corps member April Giangeruso married Blake Bhatia, founder of digital recruiting agency Synergy Interactive, in a ceremony in Maryland. The newlyweds are now partners in both life and business: They're co-founders of the trendy leotard brand Chameleon Activewear.

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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.

December 2020