What Wendy's Watching: The Chita Rivera Awards

On Monday night at the first-ever Chita Rivera Awards, I was happy to be able to interview Rivera and other stars on the red carpet at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.


The actual performance began with a rousing number from Come From Away, and the energy stayed at top level the whole night. Performances by Robert Fairchild, Melanie Moore, the American Dance Machine and others spiced up an evening that was already overwhelming in its luster, talent and warmth. Bebe Neuwirth, with her subtle wit, was the perfect emcee, and Chita Rivera was terrific fun. Other presenters were Carmen de Lavallade, Donna McKechnie, Priscilla Lopez, Baayork Lee and co-executive producers Patricia Watt and Nikki Feirt Atkins. Winners included Andy Blankenbuehler for Best Choreography in Bandstand, Corbin Bleu for Best Male Dancer and Megan Sikora for Best Female Dancer, both in Holiday Inn. Tommy Tune was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. For the complete awards listing, click here.

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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