Tamara Toumanova danced her first Giselle, opposite Serge Lifar, in 1938 with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in London.

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#TBT: "Baby Ballerina" Tamara Toumanova

Tamara Toumanova graced her first of several Dance Magazine covers for the May 1936 issue, when the publication was still called The American Dancer. Though only 17 at the time, she was already a seasoned soloist. She gave her first performance as a very young child mere months after starting ballet lessons in Paris, when Anna Pavlova selected her to dance for a benefit concert.

At 12, Toumanova was spotted by George Balanchine when he came to observe her class and, at his urging, she was hired to dance lead roles for the debut season of Colonel de Basil and René Blum's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, becoming one of the troupe's famed "baby ballerinas." Dubbed "the black pearl of the Russian ballet," she quickly became an international star, enjoying a globe-trotting career that also saw her perform on Broadway and appear in a number of Hollywood films (including Invitation to the Dance, directed by Gene Kelly, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain).

In the March 1966 issue of Dance Magazine, she said, "One cannot take away the glamor that is ballet's natural heritage. Elegance and clarity, sparkle and illusion—these are a part of ballet. In certain ways, the ballet is like a crystal chandelier. Through its beautiful forms may shine many exquisite and eloquent qualities." She passed away in 1996, at age 77.

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Topical Pain Relievers Are the Next Item on Your Dancer Self-Care Supply List

With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

Dancers have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to treating minor ailments like soreness, swelling and bruising. One that's quickly gaining popularity are topical pain relievers, which provide targeted, temporary relief of minor pain. These days, there's more than just your tried-and-true Tiger Balm on the shelves. From CBD lotions to warming gels and patches, finding the product that's right for you can be as difficult as finding the perfect Rockette-red shade of lipstick…but even more beneficial to your dance career.

Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

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May 2021