Our 7 Favorite Dancer Workouts on YouTube
Dancers know they need to cross-train. But sometimes the last thing you want to do is trek to the gym, or throw down 30 bucks for another Pilates class.
That's where YouTube comes to the rescue. Of course, an online video can't offer the specialized guidance of an in-person instructor. But with virtually no equipment needed, these seven dancer-approved options are a super convenient way to fit in a workout right in your living room—for free.
Kathryn Morgan's Pilates Class
Length: 20 minutes
Best For: Serious core strengthening. Former New York City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan knows exactly what it takes to build the kind of center that dancers need. While demonstrating, she also warns about common errors dancers make when performing the exercises (she knows our bad habits all too well).
Warning: She leaves little rest for the weary between exercises. Be prepared to sweat.
Extension & Developpé Builder
Length: 29 minutes
Best For: Improving your extensions. This workout strengthens and stretches virtually all the muscles involved in developpés, from your core to your glutes and hamstrings. Largely based on a traditional floor barre, the workout is done on your back and knees, with one section that moves in and out of a plank.
Bonus: The trainer, Alessia Lugoboni, is a former Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer, and her Lazy Dancer Tips channel is stocked with all kinds of workout videos for dancers (or those who want to look like them).
New York City Ballet Workout
Length: 60 minutes
Best For: A full-body, ballet-based sweat session. This video distills a traditional ballet class down to a stationary workout done entirely without a barre. It was designed in collaboration with New York Sports Club to strengthen the body using classical dance movements.
But, Wait: Yes, that's Peter Martins narrating the exercises. This oldie but goodie is a classic from 2001. Dancers have sworn by this video and its sequel for years.
Yoga For Dancers
Length: 24 minutes
Best For: Stretching out and strengthening your core, upper body and glutes. This trainer adds in plenty of balance challenges, too, making it a great well-rounded option when you're on layoff.
Our Favorite Part: The dog lounging in the background offers some seriously relaxing summer chill-out vibes.
Length: 20 minutes
Best For: Working on balance and coordination. This class is built around a small circle—which you can create with a jump rope, a yoga strap or even a series of pencils—to challenge your agility with fast footwork, small jumps and balances. Bonus: The cardio component will also boost your stamina.
We Know: Some of the exercises look a little silly, but trust us, they're killer.
Length: 12 minutes
Best For: Increasing the power and height of your jumps. All kinds of athletes swear by plyometrics to increase their power and jump height. These drills may seem basic, but they can produce real results.
Disclaimer: Make sure you warm up first, and have a sturdy chair or bench handy.
Equipment-Free Arm Toners
Length: 4 minutes
Best For: Strengthening your arms without dumbbells. If you don't have access to any equipment, these simple exercise offer a quick but effective substitute.
Why We Love It: Because you can feel the burn and finish up in less than five minutes.
As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?
This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three New York City dance institutions.
Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
Last week, Variety reported that Sergei Polunin would reunite with the team behind Dancer for another documentary. "Where 'Dancer' looked at his whole life, family and influences," director Steven Cantor said, " 'Satori' will focus more squarely on his creative process as performer and, for the first time ever, choreographer." The title references a poorly received evening of work by the same name first presented by Polunin in 2017. (It recently toured to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)
I cannot be the only person wondering why we should care.
"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.