Got a Career-Related Resolution? Here's Free Expert Help

Your Christmas shopping is done. Your Nutcracker run is over (or almost over, hopefully). Now is the time to start looking ahead to 2016.

Yup, it's the time for resolutions. Over the next week, many dance artists will make goals to take their career to the next level. Maybe you're a choreographer who wants to get better at applying for grants. Or a freelance dancer who hopes to improve your time management.

An example from the workbook

Well, we've got a present for you: Springboard for the Arts has released a series of resources to help artists build their business skills. And it's all free. Called Work of Art, the professional development program includes 12 exceptionally engaging online videos that cover everything from developing a business plan to building a portfolio, such as a reel of performance footage. It also offers an interactive workbook of lessons, exercises and resources to help you develop strategic goals—and accomplish them. (All you have to do is email for a free downloadable copy.) The best part? All the advice is by artists for artists, with tips from TU Dance's Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, plus footage of their company in rehearsal to break up the business speak.

Happy 2016!


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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