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A New Grant Program Will Assist Choreographers With Emergency Medical Costs

It's no secret that many dancers and choreographers frequently live paycheck to paycheck. Unplanned expenses—particularly emergency medical costs—can wipe out savings and leave artists scrambling. And the issue is only exacerbated by the lack of health insurance coverage common among dancers.

Enter New York Foundation for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The organizations are teaming up to offer Rauschenberg Emergency Grants: one-time, $5,000 awards to help offset the costs of medical emergencies. The funds can be used towards hospital or doctor bills, tests, physical therapy, prescriptions relating to the emergency medical condition, emergency dental work and more.


In a release, Michael L. Royce, NYFA's executive director, said, "For many artists, healthcare expenses take a back seat to other pressing needs like food, shelter, studio or practice space, and art supplies. As such, we are excited to partner with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to help ease some of the financial burdens that artists face following a medical emergency and help them to get back to work."

Visual artists, media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with or without health insurance, are eligible to apply. The funds will be allocated based on need as well as their impact in allowing the applicant to return to their creative work. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and the granting panels intend to meet monthly to ensure timely responses.

Applications will be accepted, and the first grants awarded, between late May and early June. Visit nyfa.org for more info.

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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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