Jennifer Garner Helped Backstage at ABT's Nutcracker and It's Wild

Jennifer Garner wants the world to know that she takes game day seriously—and she's not talking about football. For ballet dancers during December, there's obviously only one type of "game day." Nutcracker, of course.

Garner is a highly documented ballet lover, and, this time, she went the extra mile to show her dedication. Thankfully, she was on hand as American Ballet Theatre warmed up for its current Nutcracker run at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.


Without Garner, who else would tie Betsy McBride's pointe shoes and personally massage her calves? Or put Stella Abrera's hair in a bun? Or not-so-artfully apply Courtney Shealy's false eyelashes?

Frankly, we're not sure if the curtain could have gone up without Garner, clad in a soldier suit and frantically waving her giant foam finger throughout the theater.

All joking aside, we love how she continually uses her platform to bring wider attention to dance, and we couldn't agree more with her advice for the season: "If you want to feel holiday happiness: find and see your local Nutcracker!!"

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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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