Jacques d'Amboise leading a National Dance Institute class. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy DM Archives

Jacques d'Amboise's First Apollo Was "Terrible." Here's What It Taught Him About Being a Dancer.

In the October 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we spoke with Jacques d'Amboise, then 20 years into his career with New York City Ballet. Though he became a principal dancer in 1953, the star admitted that it hadn't all been smooth sailing.


"I knew that I was terrible in my first Apollo," he told us, "and when Balanchine did not come to me and tell me so, did not train me in it, I realized that to be a dancer you must work as a dancer, not as a robot. I knew then that your teachers can teach you so much—but that the learning process is limitless, and that you set your own limits on what you learn."

D'Amboise arguably became the definitive interpreter of Apollo, and brought that thoughtful approach to his endeavors in choreography and arts education. In 1976, while still performing with NYCB, he founded National Dance Institute—and today, at age 85, he's still at it.

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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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