Ingrid Silva Stars in New Nike Video Series Celebrating Black History Month (Plus, Serena Williams Narrates)

Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. And it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams.

This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.


Interspersed with gorgeous dance footage, Silva and Thomas tell each other their stories. Silva talks about growing up in Brazil, and how it wasn't until she moved to New York to train at DTH that she saw dancers who looked like her. Thomas discusses the loneliness he felt as the only dancer of color in his childhood studio.

"Representation matters, and you can't become something you don't see," says Silva, who later adds, "Directors have to take the first step in hiring dancers of color, so the stage looks like what the rest of the world looks like."

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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