Unsplash

What to Listen to: Our Top 3 Dance Podcast Picks

What's better on your morning commute than listening to a podcast, you ask? We'd say, listening to a dance podcast!

Lucky for us, there are more dance podcasts than ever. We're here to provide a guide to our current top dance podcast picks.


Conversations on Dance

Started just over three years ago, Conversations on Dance, hosted by former Miami City Ballet dancers Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Breeden, provides a thoughtful look into the ballet world. On a close to weekly basis, the pair interviews "the ballet world's best and brightest," including choreographers, dancers, critics, designers, teachers, artistic directors and more.

Conversations on Dance also has close relationships with Vail Dance Festival and The Kennedy Center, and has recorded a number of episodes live at both. At Vail this year, King Ferraro and Breeden spoke with festival artistic director Damian Woetzel; ballet stars from either side of Lincoln Center's plaza including Herman Cornejo, Roman Mejia, Tiler Peck and James Whiteside; and choreographer Pam Tanowitz.

Dance and Stuff

For a lighthearted, insider look into the dance world, tune in to Dance and Stuff. Reid Bartelme and Jack Ferver, both multi-hyphenates of the dance world who have known each other since their high school days at Interlochen, host the show. While they can tend to talk more about the "stuff" than the "dance," this doesn't make the podcast any less enjoyable (especially if you like movies, which they discuss a lot).

When they get down to business, their candor, combined with Reid's rich knowledge about the ballet world and Ferver's social commentary, leads to compelling conversations about the worlds of dance and performance. With a diverse network of communities between them, from the downtown performance art scene to the uptown classical ballet ecosystem, their guests bring a wide range of experiences, insights and stories.

PillowVoices: Dance Through Time

As podcasts grow ever more popular, some dance institutions are bringing them in-house. For over a year, The Joyce Theater has been offering episodes featuring conversations with guests either performing on or choreographing for the Joyce stage on its podcast Still Spinning. Earlier this summer, Jacob's Pillow launched its own: PillowVoices: Dance Through Time.

PillowVoices shakes up the typical host and guest structure, allowing various Pillow people to shape their own episodes and curate a sampling of archival recordings from the Pillow's collection to share. So far, episodes have been thoughtfully assembled by director of preservation Norton Owen, associate archivist Patsy Gay and scholar-in-residence Brian Schaefer, and include audio featuring dance greats Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham and Ohad Naharin.

These days it's easy to access these podcasts on a number of platforms, so start listening!

Latest Posts


Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
December 2020