You Can Now Take Dance Classes Alongside Alpacas

Yep, you read that right.

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!"

Classes have been so popular (duh!) that the farm has extended its schedule through the fall.

As Patman puts it: "You may be working up a sweat, but if you look up and see a cute alpaca it makes everything better."

The Conversation
Health & Body

Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap. Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do. But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.

How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Howard Sherman, Courtesy SDC

Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."

Keep reading... Show less