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6 Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps All Dancers Can Make

With dancers' busy schedules, it's easy to forget about how much waste we're creating, or how our daily routines might be contributing to pollution or climate change. But the fact is that everything we do—from getting ready for a show backstage to fueling up for a rehearsal—has an impact on the environment.

Start small by swapping out these six everyday items for eco-friendly versions. Don't worry, they aren't overly expensive: In fact some of them may save you money.

#1: Ditch Plastic Water Bottles

Swearing off plastic waters bottles is perhaps the easiest way dancers can make their dance practice more sustainable. Luckily, there are tons of fun, customizable reusable brands, like S'well, bkr and Klean Kanteen.

#2: Restock Your Stage Makeup

You may not think of your stage makeup as contributing to pollution, but the plastic packaging that many products come in creates unnecessary waste (that's often not recyclable) and the chemicals in some products pollute our waterways. Brands like Axiology, Inika and ILIA are committed to using natural ingredients and eco-friendly manufacturing practices.

#3: Bring Better Tupperware

We're all for bringing your own healthy meals backstage and to rehearsals. But instead of using plastic baggies or tupperware—which are made from fossil fuels and can leak chemicals into our food—opt for stainless steel or glass containers.

#4: Buy Non-Aerosol Hair Products

Yes, we've come a long way as far as ridding hairspray of toxic chemicals. But many hair products still contain aerosols, which contribute to smog and can damage our water supply. Non-aerosol products are just as effective at taming your flyaways.

#5: Swap Out Your Sneakers

Fast fashion shoe production tends to leave a large carbon footprint. Swap out your cross-training sneaks for a brand like Ecoalf, which makes its shoes from recycled waste.

#6: Upgrade Your Yoga or Pilates Mat

If you're using a mat to cross-train, make sure it's one that's free of PVC, synthetic rubbers and other ozone-depleting substances.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.