Alpaca dance classes are a thing, thanks to 313 Farms in Manitoba, Canada. Students can take classes like "Barn Barre," "Mommy, The Alpacas, & Me" and "Poppin' Pacas" while the animals roam—and you're welcome to stop and pet them mid-class.
"Having worked in a dance studio, I had quite a few students visit the alpacas and they loved being around them," says owner Ann Patman. "Most studios have no windows and even though the class might be great, you don't get any fresh air or see what's going on outside."
Obviously, the students love having the alpacas around. But what about the alpacas? "They are very curious animals," says Patman. "So they love meeting people and having a change of routine."
Each class ends with a 15-minute meet-and-greet session, where students can feed the alpacas and take selfies with them. "Everyone thinks it's hilarious when they take a cup of food to feed them and all nine try to stick their noses in at the same time," says Patman. "The adults are fascinated by the fact that the alpacas all poop in one pile so they don't have to watch where they step. Lots of them want to trade in their dogs for alpacas!"
Devon Teuscher performing the titular role in Jane Eyre. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT
Story ballets that debut during American Ballet Theatre's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House are always the subject of much curiosity—and, sometimes, much debate. Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre was no different. The ballet follows the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brönte's novel as she grows from a willful orphan to a self-possessed governess, charting her romance with the haughty Mr. Rochester and the social forces that threaten to tear them apart.
While the ballet was warmly received in the UK when Northern Ballet premiered it in 2016, its reception from New York City–based critics has been far less welcoming. A group of editors from Dance Magazine and two of our sister publications, Dance Spirit and Pointe, sat down to discuss our own reactions.