How Ashley Mayeux Transformed Her Body to Handle the Ailey Rep
When Ashley Mayeux joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater last summer after four years with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, she was already a versatile mover accustomed to a demanding schedule.
But the career move came with several challenges. Here's how she's tackled them:
To get used to the rep:
"I had to take a lot more modern classes to get the grounded feeling back into my body," she says. "I had been doing a lot of contemporary work on and off pointe that required me to be more 'pulled up.' "
Photo by Rachel Neville, via Instagram
To build stamina:
Mayeux visits the gym for cardio workouts whenever her schedule allows, using the treadmill or elliptical for 30 minutes at a time.
To make it through long rehearsal days:
Mayeux is careful to pace herself: She never jumps into class or rehearsal without checking in with her body first. "I usually start my day out on the floor with layers and layers of warm-up clothes on," she says. She begins by stretching her quads and flexing and pointing her feet, then likes to do the "cat-cow" yoga exercise to warm up her core and spine. "I try to get my body lubricated before classes."
Mayeux starts each day by checking in with her body. Photo via Instagram
To keep her body healthy:
Once or twice a week, Mayeux has a company PT help her with her Achilles tendon—a common problem spot—by using manual therapy techniques to ensure her ankles are properly aligned and do not feel "jammed." She also stretches (mostly her hamstrings) and self-massages (mostly her calves) every night before bed to address any areas of tightness.
And when the company's on layoff? She heads home to Houston to take a break from dance, and spend time with her family and two English bulldogs, London and Rome.
Mayeux's bulldogs, London and Rome.
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Ah, stretching. It seems so simple, and is yet so complicated.
For example: You don't want to overstretch, but you're not going to see results if you don't stretch enough. You want to focus on areas where you're tight, but you also can't neglect other areas or else you'll be imbalanced. You were taught to hold static stretches growing up, but now everyone is telling you never to hold a stretch longer than a few seconds?
Considering how important stretching correctly is for dancers, it's easy to get confused or overwhelmed. So we came up with 10 common stretching scenarios, and gave you the expert low-down.