Willam Christensen (right) rehearsing Bart Cook

Courtesy Ballet West

Celebrating 75 Years of Sugar Plum

America's oldest Nutcracker celebrates its milestone 75th anniversary this month.


Willam Christensen created his production for San Francisco Ballet in 1944—the first full-length version in the U.S.—but it has been a fixture of Ballet West's repertory since 1963, when he became the company's founding artistic director. The tradition that launched our nationwide holiday fixation on dancing snowflakes and sweets marches on with Ballet West's annual run in Salt Lake City, December 7–26.

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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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