Five couples who span the dance world from ballet to hip hop to modern share studio time, performances, and their love for dance - along with household chores and a deep commitment to each other. Each has a unique story about how dance brought them together and keeps their marriage strong.
ABT's Soul Mates: Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky
She is an exotic beauty of Philippine descent; he's as likeable and all-American as it gets. Stella Abrera, who was on the January 2004 cover as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," and Sascha Radetsky, who had a lead role in the feature film Center Stage, are among the most visible of the distinguished cadre of soloists at American Ballet Theatre. The two native Californians married last summer after a nine-year courtship.
The couple's life at ABT has paralleled their romantic relationship from the outset. Radetsky was 18 and a member of the studio company when Abrera, then 17, auditioned. He noticed her in the audition. "I remember trying to flirt a little bit," Radetsky says. But he says it took him "a couple of years" to persuade her to be interested in him.
The two dancers often appear onstage at the same time but not always as partners. They did Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier together in last year's Nutcracker, and among the pas de deux they especially enjoy doing together is Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort, one of their favorite ballets. Radetsky clearly relished partnering his wife in Tharp's In the Upper Room last fall at City Center. "She's such a pleasure to partner, so easy," he says. "She's super light, she's flexible, she's strong, learns quickly, is considerate of her partner. She applies herself to every role 100 percent, so she's willing to work to make things better or to change when necessary."
"The same goes for you," Abrera says, and Radetsky responds with a pleased, "Aw, shucks." Abrera adds, "I put my full trust in my partner that he's going to support me at all times. It's even easier with Sascha. There's an even higher level of trust."
Are they helpful to one another? "Sure, in so many different ways," Radetsky says. "In a very literal sense, correcting each other's dancing, in very constructive ways, obviously. We're lucky we understand what each other does so we can always offer a different perspective on things." Abrera adds that their support of one another extends to helping each other through injuries and tough times at the studio.
Though sharing the stage with her life partner "is a joy," Abrera says, "it can be harder, because you're worried about yourself and you're anxious about his performance at the same time. [Yet] you can't really concentrate on his performance."
"Sometimes it's nice to just be a spectator and watch your counterpart do her thing," Radetsky observes.
Issues surrounding roles and promotions - Abrera was promoted to soloist in 2001, Radetsky two years later - have not affected their relationship. "I only got support. There was never any weird tension," says Abrera about her promotion. Radetsky adds, "I was so happy for her."
Now in their late 20s, the couple thinks about what might lie ahead for them. Radetsky considers the possibility of leaving dancing altogether. "There are so many things that life has to offer," he says. "I'd like to work outdoors and do something that would have a positive effect on the environment. We honeymooned in Alaska and had a wonderful adventure there, camping, rafting."
If Radetsky is an outdoor enthusiast, then Abrera is a budding one. "I'm his apprentice," she says, adding that she has always wanted to go to culinary school. "I feel like I can use that anywhere, any time."
"She's a wonderful cook," Radetsky says.
Abrera remarks that they have talked about one day having children, then slips out the door, off to a rehearsal. Radetsky watches her go, then says, "I lucked out."
So did she. —Amanda Smith
Perpetual Motion: Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands
Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands first met in a revolving door, and their lives have been in almost constant motion ever since. As co-artistic directors of and performers in TU Dance, they balance running their St. Paul-based company with managing a house and family, his guest choreography, and her teaching - while also planning a dance school in St. Paul.
But dancing together? They keep that to a minimum - even though audiences relish seeing the charismatic Sands, 32, and lithe Pierce-Sands, 44, in duets like High Heel Blues. "As the choreographer, I need to direct Toni, but here's the problem: No one tells Toni what to do," says Sands. "Rehearsals? They're usually a disaster. There's this tug of war between who is leader and follower. It's because we established our careers separately."
In 1993 Pierce-Sands, then a dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, entered a hotel to visit a friend with Philadanco, which had just hired a hot young dancer. As she stepped into the revolving door, a handsome, muscular man entered from the other side. "I thought, 'Oh, that's him!' " she says. "I said, 'Hey, congratulations.' But he was sort of cold and aloof." Retorts Sands, with a laugh, "I was just so young. I was a scaredy-cat."
Two years later, at age 21, Sands joined AAADT. Pierce-Sands was 33 and a divorced mother of a 6-year-old son. They quickly found ways to "separate ourselves from the other dancers," Sands says. "We'd stay at the bar for one more drink, talking into the early morning about our mothers and Toni being a mother, her growing up in Minnesota and my upbringing in Miami, her time in Europe dancing with Companie Rick Odums. Honestly, I just wanted to get to know her."
Pierce-Sands says, "Uri has an old soul that doesn't go with his young age. He would [write in a] journal all the time; he is an observer and a thinker. I'm a doer. That's why Uri attracted me."
A test of their devotion came in 1998, when Pierce-Sands and her son returned to St. Paul to be close to family. She joined the dance faculties of Minnesota Dance Theatre School (MDTS) and University of Minnesota, while Sands stayed with Ailey for two more years. After enduring six-month separations, Sands decided to give dancing in the Twin Cities a go, first performing with James Sewell Ballet. In 2000 he joined Minnesota Dance Theatre as a dancer and resident choreographer. When he began creating choreography for MDTS, he and Pierce-Sands fell into roles - choreographer and rehearsal director, respectively - that would serve them well at TU Dance, which they co-founded in 2005.
In 2001 the couple married, settling in St. Paul. But Sands was restless. When North Carolina Dance Theatre offered him a 20- to 25-week contract and the opportunity to choreograph, he took the job.
Pierce-Sands struggled with his choice. "It signified a critical moment," she says. "Suddenly I realized we were on different career paths. While I was reluctant to change my life again, Uri didn't want to stop for anything. I knew he had to go and supported his decision. But I envied [his] will and freedom to get up and go."
Sands' choreographic career continues to evolve. Last year he was the first choreographer given the Princess Grace Award. In 2006 the Ailey company premiered his Existence Without Form. The couple's TU Dance continues to win critical and popular acclaim. Nonetheless, with two strong, creative personalities, conflict is inevitable.
"We don't try to hide it or pretend it doesn't exist," says Pierce-Sands. "Professionalism is our default setting," she says. "When we're dancing together, the ground becomes level, because we respect each other and know we can trust each other as dancers." —Camille LeFevre
Star-Bless'd Lovers: Molly Smolen and Tiit Helimets
What could be more romantic than falling in love while dancing Juliet to your future husband's Romeo? That's how Molly Smolen fell for the love of her life. She and Tiit Helimets, now both principals with San Francisco Ballet, were cast in one romantic partnership after another at Estonian National Ballet, and it took only about a month for the onstage passion to ignite offstage as well.
Smolen, a Philadelphian and former American Ballet Theatre dancer, headed to Estonia for a six-month guesting gig (principal dancer Helimets needed a partner) in 1997. Faced with rehearsals for five classical roles and a huge language barrier, she was near tears one day when Helimets gently took her aside and hugged her. Until then, Smolen says, "I [had been] terrified of him. He's so tall, and blond, and good looking. And he didn't speak very much English, and I didn't speak any Estonian or Russian. But he was very sweet to me." A dinner invitation that night quickly became a ritual, then a life completely shared. After living together for five years, the couple married in 2003.
The pleasures of life offstage quickly trumped their time in the studio as Smolen and Helimets discovered the challenges of working together. It took them a year to "work out the kinks," Smolen says.
"We used to fight in rehearsals. You know each other, so you don't make an effort to be nice," says Helimets. "But when you're working with different people you treat them nice. You have to ask yourself, 'Would I say this to someone else?' And if the answer's no, then it doesn't belong in the studio. It's a conscious effort, and it pays off in day-to-day life."
The couple's on- and offstage partnership continued when they joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1999. And though for the first year there Smolen struggled with watching Helimets dance lead after lead without her, as he covered for injured principals, that was nothing compared to the emotional battering they both took when Helimets signed on with SFB in 2005. Smolen based herself in New York City as a freelancer, and the separation was unthinkably hard.
"I thought, "We'll be fine; we're a strong couple,' " says Helimets. "But the fact that you're going to be away six months, and you're not going to see your wife - I just couldn't make myself walk out of the apartment." Although they managed a visit every few weeks, a continued bicoastal existence was out of the question. Serendipity struck when SFB artistic director Helgi Tomasson offered Smolen a contract.
Whether the couple will spend as much time together onstage as off is immaterial to them now, although they are each other's favorite partner. Smolen considers her husband's partnering skills unsurpassable; Helimets says that once he got past his wife's obvious attributes - "those big eyes, the lips, the hair" - he discovered that her talent was "over-boiling." Although dancing with someone else can be great, he says, "it will never live up to the feel of being so connected."
"If we get to dance together, that's wonderful," Smolen adds. "But there are so many great dancers here, it really doesn't matter. We're working in the same place and that's enough."
Those who can't make it to San Francisco to catch this couple in performance can search the Discovery Channel for a show called Wedding Secrets. Captured on film is the Smolen/Helimets wedding, along with footage of them dancing The Sleeping Beauty with Birmingham Royal Ballet. If you tune in, bring a hankie. Says Smolen, "His wedding vows made everyone cry." —Cheryl Ossola
Rokafella and Kwikstep: An Unbreakable Bond
Break-dancers were uprocking down the aisle of Saint Cecilia's Church in Spanish Harlem on June 17, 2000, the day that Anita "Rokafella" Garcia and Gabriel "Kwikstep" Dionisio were married. Members of their crew carried the Puerto Rican flag to celebrate their shared heritage and the couple recited their vows in rhyme. A salsa band played at the reception until a break-dance battle ensued. "We live hip hop culture every day," Kwikstep declares. "It's not something that we do at work and then go home and leave behind."
The two New Yorkers first met 14 years ago at a street dance festival on the Upper West Side, where each performed with a separate crew but shared the same spot on the sidewalk. Two years later they ran into each other on the subway. Kwikstep invited Rokafella to an audition that afternoon for GhettOriginal Productions Dance Company, a group he was dancing with. "She didn't even have her sneakers with her. But she did the audition barefoot and made it into the company that day," Kwikstep says proudly. "We started working together the next week."
Rokafella was intrigued by Kwikstep's expansive knowledge of hip hop. "He continued to speak to me about the culture and the dance. I had no idea that there was a culture. I had just grown up doing the dance," she says. Rehearsal conversation soon led to romance and the couple eventually left GhettOriginal to found their own venture, Full Circle Productions, in 1996. Three years later, at the end of a performance at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, Kwikstep proposed to Rokafella onstage in front of an audience of 800 delighted fans. Under the guise of handing out awards to his staff, Kwikstep summoned the unsuspecting Rokafella (who had received puzzling pre-performance congratulations from the company) onstage and popped the question.
Full Circle Productions normally involves an ensemble, but last year the couple decided to make a duet together for the first time. "It was difficult because we have polarized methods of creating. We're complete opposites. Kwik feels it and lets the moment catch it. I'm much more calculated. I'm always thinking about how many eights I have and what kind of monologue I should start off with," says Rokafella. "Without question, you bring those arguments into the home. Then you have issues of dishes and laundry and you wind up saying, 'Well, you won the last one in the studio, so I gotta win this one at home!' "
Working and living together requires constant communication, Kwikstep notes. "A company is different when it's run by partners. As a married couple we're already in a partnership with rings and a commitment. That shows in our company too. We're equal partners, though we switch roles. Sometimes I'm the backbone and sometimes she is. Sometimes both hands hold the weight," he says. "And just when you thought communication couldn't get any more complicated, you're forced to analyze the dynamic of who you are as work partners against who you are as a married couple. How do you separate those roles?"
At times, being together in the studio provides the answer. "When we accomplish something in the studio, we're better able to deal with home issues," Rokafella says. "Dance can be the solution."
Spending time on independent projects also alleviates the pressures of constant togetherness. "Kwik and I are two separate people. We have to satisfy our own dreams also," Rokafella says. She often works with modern-dance choreographers, while Kwikstep judges hip hop contests and teaches workshops.
"It's good to let space into a relationship, especially when couples work together. Human beings need space; it allows you to rediscover yourself. Then you start thinking about the other person again and appreciating their qualities more," says Kwikstep. "Being a couple is like being coffee and milk. You love to have them both together, but sometimes you just take it black. It's all about balance in the end - aiming for those times when the cup tastes just right." —Darrah Carr
Love Bites: Tucson Ballet's Jenna Johnson and Daniel Precup
Jenna Johnson turned Daniel Precup's head three times in three different cities before the pair finally met. The first time was at a Dresden theater. "I was auditioning there," Precup says. "We were in the lobby at the same time. I saw her and said, 'Wow! This is a wonderful lady.' " The second time was in Bucharest. Johnson was dancing with Romanian National Opera Ballet, and Precup had been invited by colleagues to attend the show. The third time was also in Romania, in the port town of Constanta. There, in 1997, Johnson joined the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theatre, where Precup had spent his entire career. "It was my destiny that I meet this wonderful-face lady," he said.
Destiny is the short explanation of how the Cincinnati-born Johnson, and Precup, a native Romanian, became on- and offstage partners and wound up in Arizona.
The saga began as Johnson finished her first post-school job, a yearlong stint at Atlanta Ballet, and went to visit her father, who was living in Bucharest at the time. "I was interested in the idea that there were companies who would pay their dancers for a full-year contract," she said. She found better state funding for dance in Eastern Europe and took work there.
That decision led her to Precup, with whom she was paired initially due to their similar stature. (She's 5' 8" in flats; he's 6' 5".) Once she learned to calculate the increased traveling distance in overhead lifts (an adjustment from shorter partners), Johnson found that having a tall partner was an advantage. They were a good team at work, but she admits that her interest in Precup extended beyond the technical. "He has that Eastern European look: dramatic eyes, high cheekbones."
Initially paired in Scheherazade, The Miraculous Mandarin, and Swan Lake because of their height, the couple had obvious chemistry, which soon led to conversations outside the studio. Although Precup had studied some English in school, he was charmed by Johnson's accent when she spoke Romanian. Their sense of cultural connectedness sealed the deal. "My family was always interested in literature and the arts - something I felt I had in common with Daniel," Johnson says. Precup describes their connection as "the pleasure for everything that is beautiful. We share that."
And so, late one night, Precup asked Johnson out for a romantic stroll along the seawall. And then? "It was a full moon," Precup jokes. "I change myself. I become a werewolf - I bite her!" That notable night marked a turning point in their life together.
The couple moved to the United States in 2003 so that Johnson could attend to some family issues. After dancing with the now-defunct Oakland Ballet for two seasons, they joined Ballet Tucson in 2004, where Precup became the company's first Dracula of Transylvanian heritage. They married in 2005, in a Cincinnati church that reminded Precup of home.
Sharing a professional and personal partnership can be challenging. "You have a higher expectation from your partner, and you're less inclined to be polite when they fall short," Johnson says. But there are benefits, too. They have absorbed each other's schooling and become attuned to each other's bodies. "I can anticipate what he will do," she said. "And we also know how to put each other to better advantage." Johnson hopes to do that some day in Romeo and Juliet, after having danced Giselle with Precup. "That was special," she said of their romantic ballet pairing. "I felt it."
Apparently viewers can feel it as well. "They're audience favorites," says Tucson's artistic director, Mary Beth Cabana. "They have a natural chemistry." —Heather Wisner
As a very shy little girl, my happy place was my room, where I would wear improvised costumes and giggle with happiness while dancing for an imaginary audience. I was raised in a family where dancing was "normal." My mom and sisters graduated from the national ballet academy in Poland, and I, of course, wanted to follow their steps. But I was never forced to. I am proud to say I discovered the magic of ballet all by myself.
Photo by Costin Radu, courtesy of Petra Conti
It's contest time! You could win your choice of Apolla Shocks (up to 100 pairs) for your whole studio! Apolla Performance believes dancers are artists AND athletes—wearing Apolla Shocks helps you be both! Apolla Shocks are footwear for dancers infused with sports science technology while maintaining a dancer's traditions and lines. They provide support, protection and traction that doesn't exist anywhere else for dancers, helping them dance longer and stronger. Apolla wants to get your ENTIRE studio protected and supported in Apolla Shocks! How? Follow these steps:
The midterm elections are less than three weeks away on November 6. If you're registered to vote, hooray!
But you can't fully celebrate before you've completed your mission. Showing up at the polls is what matters most—especially since voter turnout for midterms doesn't have a fabulous track record. According to statistics from FairVote, about 40 percent of the population that is eligible to vote actually casts a ballot during midterm elections.
Many members of the dance community are making it clear that they want that percentage go up, and they're using social media to take a stand. Here's how they're getting involved:
Dancers will do just about anything to increase their odds of staying injury-free. And there are plenty of products out there claiming that they can help you do just that. But which actually work?
We asked for recommendations from four experts: Martt Lawrence, who teaches Pilates to dancers in San Francisco; Lisa-Marie Lewis, who teaches yoga at The Ailey Extension in New York City; physical therapist Alexis Sams, who treats dancers at her clinic in Phoenix; and stretch training coach Vicente Hernandez, who teaches at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
With a contemporary air that exalts—rather than obscures—flamenco tradition, and a technique and stamina that boggle the mind, Eduardo Guerrero's professional trajectory has done nothing but skyrocket since being named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" earlier this year. His 2017 solo Guerrero has toured widely, and he has created premieres for the Jerez Festival (Faro) and the 2018 Seville Flamenco Biennial (Sombra Efímera). In the midst of his seemingly unstoppable ascension, he's created Gaditanía, his first work utilizing a corps de ballet. Guerrero is currently touring the U.S. with this homage to Cadiz, the city of his birth.
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At our cover shoot for the November issue, Bobbi Jene Smith curated one of the best lineups of YouTube music videos that I've heard in a long time. From Bob Dylan to Tom Waits, they felt like such perfect choices for her earthy, visceral movement and soulful approach to dance.
Dance technology has come a long way from ballet variations painstakingly learned by watching fuzzy VHS tapes. Over the last few years, a dizzying number of online training programs have cropped up, offering the chance to take class in contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop and even ballroom from the comfort of your own living room or studio.
Usually, it takes new recruits a few seasons to make their mark at the Paul Taylor Dance Company. But Taylor wasted no time in honing in on the talents of Alex Clayton. Only a few months after Clayton joined in June 2017, Taylor created an exciting solo for him in his new Concertiana, filled with explosive leaps and quick footwork. Clayton was also featured in new works by Doug Varone and Bryan Arias. At 5' 6" he may be compact, but onstage he fills the space with a thrilling sense of attack.
Scottish Ballet is turning 50 next year, but they'll be the one giving out the gifts.
In 2019, the company will make five wishes from fans come true, as a way of thanking them for their loyalty and support over the years. "It can be anything from the dancers performing at a birthday party or on the banks of Loch Ness, or even the chance to get on stage and be part of a Scottish Ballet show," according to the company.
Recently, English National Ballet first artist Precious Adams announced that she will no longer be wearing pink tights. With the support of her artistic director Tamara Rojo, she will instead wear chocolate brown tights (and shoes) that match her flesh tone.
It may seem like a simple change, but this could be a watershed moment—one where the aesthetics of ballet begin to expand to include the presence of people of color.
Flamenco dancer and choreographer Rocío Molina created her first full-length production, Entre paredes ("Between Walls"), at the age of 22. At 26, the prodigy received Spain's National Dance Prize, the most coveted dance award in Spain. Now 34, her rupture with tradition makes her no stranger to controversy. But it, and her fiercely personal and contemporary style, means that each new project is a fascinating voyage.
Molina is the subject of French filmmaker Emilio Belmonte's first feature length documentary, IMPULSO. The film, which makes its U.S. theatrical premiere at New York City's Film Forum on October 17, follows Molina for two years as she tours Europe presenting a series of improvised works. These improvisations ultimately inspired the creation of one of Molina's masterworks, Caída de Cielo ("Fallen from Heaven"), which premiered in 2016.
In a move that was both surprising and seemingly inevitable, New York City Ballet closed its fall season by promoting seven dancers. Joseph Gordon, who was promoted to soloist in February 2017, is now a principal dancer. Daniel Applebaum, Harrison Coll, Claire Kretzschmar, Aaron Sanz, Sebastian Villarini-Velez and Peter Walker have been promoted to soloist.
Newly promoted soloist Peter Walker has been showing his abilities as a leading man in ballets like Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB
The announcement was made on Saturday by Jonathan Stafford, the head of NYCB's interim leadership team. These seven promotions mark the first since longtime ballet master in chief Peter Martins retired in the midst of harassment allegations at the beginning of this year. While Stafford and fellow interim leaders Rebecca Krohn, Craig Hall and Justin Peck have made some bold choices in terms of programming—such as commissioning Kyle Abraham and Emma Portner to create new works for the 2018–19 season—their primary focus has appeared to be keeping the company running on an even keel while the search for a new artistic leader is ongoing. Some of us theorized that we would not be seeing any promotions until a new artistic director was in place.
Ryan Steele has a simple rule for demanding days on Broadway: "I listen to my body," he says. "I have whatever I'm craving: If I need more protein, I go straight for that. If I'm tired, I know I need carbs."
This wasn't always Steele's approach. Growing up, shuttling between the studio and school meant relying on McDonald's and Burger King.
The entrancing power of Instagram can't be denied. I've lost hours of my life scrolling the platform looking at other people documenting theirs. What starts as a "quick" fill-the-moment check-in can easily lead to a good 10-15 minute session, especially if I enter the nebulous realm of "suggested videos."
My algorithm usually shows me professional ballet dancers in performances, rehearsals, class, backstage and on tour, which I quite enjoy. But there are the other dance feeds that I find myself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by: the hyper-elastic, hyper-extended, gumby-footed girls always at the barre doing developpés to six o'clock. There are the multiple turners, the avid stretchers and we can't forget the endless balancers.
This parade of tricksters always makes me wonder, What else can they do? Can they actually dance?
New York City Ballet fired principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro on Saturday. Both had initially been suspended until 2019 for engaging in "inappropriate communications," while principal Chase Finlay, who was the instigator of those communications, resigned. (Although, in a statement on Saturday, NYCB made it clear they had decided to terminate Finlay prior to his resignation.)
The New York Times reports that NYCB says the change from suspension to termination resulted from hearing the concerns of dancers, staff members and others in the NYCB community. Yet it's hard to ignore the fact that a lawsuit against NYCB had been filed in the meantime. A statement from NYCB executive director Katherine Brown and interim artistic team leader Jonathan Stafford stated:
"We have no higher obligation than to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued, and we are committed to providing that environment for all employees of New York City Ballet."
Since the news was announced, both Catazaro and Ramasar have spoken out publicly about being fired.
Earlier this week, a friend of a friend reached out to me seeking recommendations for a dancer/choreographer to hire. She wanted someone who could perform a solo and talk about their process for an arts-appreciation club. After a few emails back and forth, as I was trying to find out exactly what kind of choreographer she was looking for, it eventually emerged that she was not looking to pay this person.
"We are hoping to find someone who would be willing to participate in exchange for the exposure," she wrote.
Why do people think this is an okay thing to ask for?
For over a decade, husband-and-wife team Pascal Rioult and Joyce Herring, artistic and associate artistic directors of RIOULT Dance NY, dreamed of building a space for their company and fellow artists in the community, and a school for future dancers. This month, their 11,000-square-foot dream opens its doors in the Kaufman Arts District in Astoria, Queens, a New York City neighborhood across the East River from Manhattan.
In the final years of her decade-long career with the Lewitzky Dance Company, University of Arizona Associate Professor Amy Ernst began to develop an interest in dance injury prevention. She remembers feeling an urge to widen her understanding of dance and the body. Soon after retirement from the Company, she was hired by the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Inglewood, California as a physical therapy assistant, where she worked for the next three and a half years. This work eventually led her to pursue an M.F.A. in dance at the University of Washington-Seattle. She remembers growing into the role of a professor during her time pursuing her degree. That incubation phase was critical. Ernst joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1995, and now as director of the M.F.A. program, mentors the new generation of dance faculty, company directors and innovators.
With cooler weather finally here, it's time to talk warm-ups. And while your dancewear drawer is probably overflowing with oversized sweaters, leggings and enough leg warmers to outfit the whole class, warm-up boots are often forgotten. To keep your feet and ankles cozy in between rehearsals, we rounded up dance warm-up boots that suit every style.
Bloch Inc. Printed Warm-up Bootie
via Bloch Inc.
Created by Irina Dvorovenko and Max Beloserkovsky, this collection comes in a variety of tie dye, floral and even butterfly prints.
Some of my favorite experiences as both an audience member and a dancer have involved audience participation. Artists who cleverly use participatory moments can make bold statements about the boundaries between performer and spectator, onstage and off. And the challenge to be more than a passive viewer can redefine an audience's relationship to what they're watching. But all the experiences I've loved have had something in common: They've given audiences a choice.
A few weeks back, I had a starkly different experience—one that has caused me to think deeply about how consent should play into audience-performer relationships.
What happens when you mix two really good things together? Sometimes, it can be magical. It's practically guaranteed when one of those elements is the wizarding world of Harry Potter, and the other is—wait for it—dance-team–style hip hop.
When the Bible spoke of the "ingathering of the exiles," it didn't have dance in mind. Yet, this month, more than 100 dancers, choreographers and scholars from around the world will gather at Arizona State University to celebrate the impact of Jews and the Jewish experience on dance. From hora to hip hop, social justice to somatics, ballet to Gaga, the three-day event (Oct. 13–15) is "deliberately inclusive," says conference organizer and ASU professor Naomi Jackson.