The Top 15 Dance Topics of 2015

December 24, 2015

Dance came into the public eye this year. From Misty’s promotion to countless viral dance music videos to “Flesh & Bone,” it feels like 2015 seduced non-dancers into caring about dance in ways that we haven’t seen in the past. But which dance topics did our readers care about most this year? We compiled the top 15 posts on our site (measured by the number of times viewed), and the results may surprise you:

Lesley Rausch, here in Swan Lake, shared her secrets to making magic onstage in our October issue. Photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB.

  1. Technique never goes out of style. Maybe that’s why our 2008 piece on The Seven Deadly Sins of ballet is still the most-clicked post on our site. Aside from the great advice on quitting bad technique habits, my favorite part is that Skylar Brandt, a then little-known student at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school who has since skyrocketed to become an ABT soloist and one of my favorites in the company, models the “deadly sins.”
  2. Even before “Flesh & Bone” premiered this winter, there was plenty for dancers to binge watch. We compiled a list of the best of the bunch, including First Position, featuring Michaela DePrince; Pina, a tribute to Pina Bausch; and the ever-classic Turning Point. 
  3. Another piece from the vault made our list, and unfortunately it will never stop being relevant. Dr. William Hamilton, long-time orthopedic consultant for New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, explains why that pesky sprained ankle won’t heal.
  4. A September training piece on the best collegiate dance teams in the country got lots of love from our readers.
  5. Should you break ballet’s rules?
     It’s a question that had our readers commenting for days on our Facebook page. How far can dancers push ballet technique, and does it help or hurt? It’s a complicated answer, but one that our writer Ashley Rivers delivers with nuance.
  6. Misty’s first appearance on our list isn’t about her stunning debuts in Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet, her project to help girls in Rwanda, her new book deal or her history-making promotion. (In fact, her promotion barely makes the list at all!) Our sixth most popular post this year is about Misty giving Jimmy Kimmel a ballet lesson.
  7. Our editor in chief, Jennifer Stahl, wondered why Hollywood insists that ballet is so dark after watching the entire season of “Flesh & Bone.” Many of our readers had a similar reaction.
  8. World Ballet Day
     may be the greatest gift technology has given to dance fans thus far. Our announcement of the live-streaming event from ballet companies across the world got lots of traction. You can still find the full streams from your favorite company on YouTube. 
  9. Everyone wants to be the kind of dancer that audiences can’t stop watching. Our October feature, Make Magic Onstage, advises performers on how to achieve that effortless stage presence.
  10. When New York City Ballet pic-stitched together photos of the five choreographers premiering work for their fall season, the Facebook world exploded with anger. Why were they all white men? This led me to ask: Does NYCB Have a Gambling Problem? 
  11. Stalking my favorite dancers on Instagram is one of my most time-consuming guilty pleasures. Apparently, our readers do a little stalking themselves—this post on my six favorite dancer Instagram accounts was a hit.
  12. Who doesn’t love Alex Wong? Our readers sure love our June cover story on the ballet dancer turned commercial superstar. It’s understandable—Wong is charming and his story is seriously inspirational for anyone looking to make a risky career shift.
  13. Sascha Radetsky engaged readers with his fascinating account of his experience filming “Flesh & Bone.” He has writing chops to match his dancing ones, and seeing him onscreen gives me Center Stage flashbacks in the best way.
  14. There’s an app for most everything these days. But did you know there were so many made specifically for your dancer needs? We compiled some of the best apps for dancers, from one that tracks your water intake throughout the day to a ballet terminology guide.
  15. Though Misty’s promotion feels like the most important dance happening this year, this piece on “The Misty Copeland Effect,” or the way her prominence has sparked other efforts to include dancers of color, comes in at number fifteen.

The Washington Ballet School of Ballet launched an initiative this year to train more dancers of color. Photo courtesy The Washington School of Ballet.