Watch Isabella Boylston Hilariously Put a Refinery29 Editor Through Ballet Boot Camp
To be honest, we never tire of watching non-dancers tackle a day in the life of the pros. From athletes to average Joes, these videos always give us a good laugh, and they remind the rest of the world that a whole lot of work goes into every dance performance you see. But often times, these dancer-for-a-day videos don't fully understand the importance of training (i.e., you can't just throw on a pair of pointe shoes and give it a go).
That's why we're especially loving this video by Refinery29 that actually gets it. Lucie Fink, host of the R29 YouTube series Lucie For Hire , got a private lesson from American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, and it was endlessly entertaining.
Boylston gave the YouTube-er a series of challenges. Starting off with stretches and barre work, Fink took a break to learn how to master the look—perfect ballet bun included. And while Boylston showed her how to put on pointe shoes, Fink didn't actually dance in them, making a special note in the video that, "It takes years and years to learn how to move in them properly."
For her final challenge, Boylston taught Fink a (modified) excerpt from Swan Lake. Trying out bourrées, arabesque and even a saut de chat, Fink didn't exactly nail it in terms of technique and performance, but it was impossible not to admire her positive attitude and commitment to trying.
"This experience gave me a new-found respect for the sport," Fink wrote on R29. "It's more physically and mentally challenging than I could have ever expected." (Don't worry, Fink referred to dancers as both athletes and artists earlier in her written post.)
And if Fink's Instagram is anything to go by, we can expect her to give dance another go. Next up, hip hop!
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.
On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.
SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.