A ballet teacher in a mask demonstrates a port de bras as students at the barre plie

5 Tips for Getting Deeper, Juicier, More Powerful Pliés

A deep, juicy plié isn’t just delicious to watch. “It’s how we absorb shock,” says Elisa LaBelle, a physical therapist who works with dancers at NYU Langone’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. “It’s our spring, our power.” And it forms the basis for everything from dynamic jumps to smooth transitions to safe floorwork. But achieving […]

Heels Over Head: 5 Tips to Get More Comfortable With Inversions

“Being upside down is important to me,” says Pavan Thimmaiah. After all, an image of an upside-down dancer in a freeze is the logo for his New York City–based PMT House of Dance studio. And yet, when Thimmaiah was younger, he was so unsure about being upside down that his mother, attempting to help, would […]

Dance as One: 6 Tips to Improve Your Group Work

Dancers often strive to stand out from the ensemble. But dancing together—matching other dancers in movement style, timing and energy—is an equally important and equally challenging skill, and one that, after months of training at home, might need a tune-up. “Group work is very human,” says Denise Vale, senior artistic associate at the Martha Graham […]

How to Make Your Dancing Lighter and Breezier

Lightness is the famously elusive quality that can make a dancer seem to float on air. But as with all things dance, what looks like pure ease onstage takes an incredible amount of effort behind the scenes. “It’s the proverbial carrot that I dangle for my patients,” says Melissa Buffer, a Boston-area physical therapist who […]

Turn On A Dime: Use These Tips for Faster Directional Changes

There’s nothing more thrilling than watching a dancer who’s barreling through space suddenly change direction. But what might look effortless to the audience actually takes an immense amount of control and coordination. Regardless of the genre of dance, the importance of direc­tional changes is often overlooked in conversations about technique, written off as a mere […]

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