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Last-Minute Gifts for Every Dancer on Your List

If you're like us, your holiday shopping list still has a few unchecked boxes. Maybe you've been busy with Nutcracker shows, maybe you're still searching for the perfect gift for that special dancer in your life. Whatever your excuse, these ideas are sure to delight every dancer or dance-lover on your list. The best part? They're all Amazon Prime eligible.

A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back, by David Hallberg, $18.30

American Ballet Theatre principal David Hallberg shares his often-trying journey to become one of the most revered classicists dancing today in this raw memoir. He writes about what it's like to almost give up on your dreams but to persevere—required reading for any aspiring dancer.


Lois Greenfield's Breaking Bounds 2018 Wall Calendar, $10.53

Who doesn't need a calendar? Nobody. Famed dance photographer Lois Greenfield compiled some of her most striking shots that'll keep dancers inspired every month of the year.

ProSource Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set, $19.99

Yes, these acupressure tools look scary. But they give just the right kind of hurt-so-good that dancers love, and they're truly effective at relieving back pain and tightness.


Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb The Super Hydrating Sheet Masks, $14.19

Moisturizing face masks are sure winners for any dancer coming off Nutcracker season (or still in the midst of it). They're the perfect pick-me-up after all that stage makeup.

Flexistretcher, $59.95

Pros like ABT's Melanie Hamrick and English National Ballet's Anjuli Clarke swear by the Flexistretcher for improving extensions and maximizing flexibility. It's a bit of a splurge, but you can't put a price tag on a perfect arabesque, right?

Inside the Dancer's Art, by Rose Eichenbaum, $24.01

Dance photographer Rose Eichenbaum's book pairs shots of dance legends—from Bill T. Jones to Tiler Peck to Ohad Naharin—with quotes from the artists themselves. The ideal coffee table book, basically.

RumbleRoller, $44.95

Did we mention that dancers love that hurt-so-good feeling? RumbleRollers massage more deeply than the average foam roller, allowing you to get into those hard-to-reach knots.

Broadway
The "Merde" bag. Courtesy Scenery

Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.

But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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News
Photo by Gabriel Davalos, Courtesy Valdés

For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.

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Health & Body
Sara Mearns in the gym. Photo by Kyle Froman.

New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.

"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "

She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.

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