Take Virtual Class From Your Kitchen With These 6 Ballet Pros

One of the hardest parts of hunkering down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is giving up our daily routines. And for dancers, that means class.

Last week we shared a number of online teaching platforms, but now there are even more options. Over the weekend a handful of pros stepped forward to share that they'll be giving virtual class via Instagram or Facebook Live. So stake a claim to your kitchen counter, and start organizing your schedule for the week.


Tiler Peck 

New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck is giving class from her family's home in Bakersfield, CA. She wrote on Instagram that she was scheduled to teach an advanced class at her sister's dance school, but given the circumstances decided to open it up to the public.

Where: @tilerpeck Live

When: Monday, March 16 at 10 am PST/1 pm EST

Chun Wai Chan 

"Trust me," wrote Houston Ballet principal Chun Wai Chan on Instagram. "I am an expert at taking ballet class at home." Chan will be offering class this Wednesday.

Where: @chunner Live

When: Wednesday, March 18, 11am-12:30 pm CST/12-1:30 pm EST

Ashley Bouder

Ashley Bouder is giving us an extra treat: live-streamed classes every day this week. Plus, the NYCB principal is saving the classes to her YouTube channel, so you can come back to them later.

Where: Ashley Bouder on YouTube

When: Monday, March 16-Friday, March 20 at 11 am EST

Alicia Graf Mack 

Ever wondered what it's like to take class at The Juilliard School? Now you can find out. Juilliard dance director (and former Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater star) Alicia Graf Mack is giving barre online on Juilliard's Instagram.

Where: @juilliardschool

When: Available now!

Sarah Lane

Want to take this time to work one-on-one with a ballet star? American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane is offering virtual private lessons or group classes for students and young professionals.

Where: Direct message @saralaneofficial

When: Anytime!

Patricia Zhou

Los Angeles dancer Patricia Zhou taught her first class via Instagram Live today, and just announced that she'll be continuing daily for the foreseeable future.

Where: @patricia_zhou Live or on IGTV

When: Daily at 10 am PST/1 pm EST

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

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December 2020