PopMuse: Dance http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2020 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Ask Amy: Where to Stand at the Barre in My First Company Class? https://www.pointemagazine.com/ask-amy-where-to-stand-at-the-barre-in-my-first-company-class-2645584147.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/ask-amy-where-to-stand-at-the-barre-in-my-first-company-class-2645584147.html Fri, 29 May 2020 20:34:20 UTC Amy Brandt at Pointe I just scored a second company contract and will be taking daily class with the main company starting in the fall. I'm excited, but worried about knowing where to stand at barre. How can I figure that out without taking other dancers' places? —CarolynDancers tend to be weirdly territorial, especially when it comes to where they stand at the barre. This can be tricky to navigate when you're new and in the junior ranks. You could wait until everyone has taken their places, but I think the easiest way is to politely ask a company member where a good place to stand would be. They'll understand where you're coming from (we've all been in your shoes), and will hopefully point you in the right direction. It's a new season, after all, and they know new dancers are coming in. (Keep in mind that some company members will probably waltz in at the last minute.) Luckily, it doesn't take too long to figure out who stands where. Over the course of the first few weeks, people will settle into their "regular" places. Please don't fret too much over this—you may be in the second company, but you deserve a spot at the barre along with everyone else. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Is the #EsmeraldaChallenge Quarantine's Next Big Thing? https://www.pointemagazine.com/esmeralda-variation-ballet-2646126347.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/esmeralda-variation-ballet-2646126347.html Fri, 29 May 2020 17:49:28 UTC Chava Lansky at Pointe By this point in the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, people are completely burned out on dancing at home. So it's no surprise that last week, all-around dance superstar Alex Wong posted a video on Instagram performing the famous La Esmeralda variation... but in his living room. And with a frying pan instead of a tambourine. Login • Instagram The variation, which stems from a rarely-performed 1844 ballet based on Victor Hugo's famous novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, is a competition classic, favored by bunheads eager to show off their extension and control. But earlier this week, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston took to the internet, channeling her stir craziness into her own version: complete with frozen pizza. Login • Instagram Soon after, BalletMet dancer Jim Nowakowski joined in, also risking toe-bruising with a frying pan, � la Wong. But note that Nowakowski one-upped the other two by masterfully turning his d�velopp�s. Login • Instagram Of course this begs the question, is the #EsmeraldaChallenge (as we've chosen to coin it), quarantine's next big thing? At least we've given you a task for your weekend: Pull out your own pans, pizzas, frisbees, tortillas or whatever else you have on hand, and add your own version to the mix. Don't forget to use the hashtag #EsmeraldaChallenge and tag @pointemagazineofficial on Instagram. Happy dancing! http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Is the #EsmeraldaChallenge Quarantine's Next Big Thing? https://www.dancespirit.com/esmeralda-variation-ballet-2646126765.html https://www.dancespirit.com/esmeralda-variation-ballet-2646126765.html Fri, 29 May 2020 17:49:28 UTC Chava Lansky For Pointe at Dance Spirit By this point in the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, people are completely burned out on dancing at home. So it's no surprise that last week, all-around dance superstar Alex Wong posted a video on Instagram performing the famous La Esmeralda variation...but in his living room. And with a frying pan instead of a tambourine. Login • Instagram The variation, which stems from a rarely-performed 1844 ballet based on Victor Hugo's famous novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, is a competition classic, favored by bunheads eager to show off their extension and control. But earlier this week, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston took to the internet, channeling her stir craziness into her own version: complete with frozen pizza. Login • Instagram Soon after, BalletMet dancer Jim Nowakowski joined in, also risking toe-bruising with a frying pan, � la Wong. But note that Nowakowski one-upped the other two by masterfully turning his d�velopp�s. Login • Instagram Of course this begs the question, is the #EsmeraldaChallenge (as we've chosen to coin it), quarantine's next big thing? At least we've given you a task for your weekend: Pull out your own pans, pizzas, frisbees, tortillas or whatever else you have on hand, and add your own version to the mix. Don't forget to use the hashtag #EsmeraldaChallenge and tag @pointemagazineofficial on Instagram. Happy dancing! http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Here's How to Keep Your Competition Solo Performance-Ready While Quarantining https://www.dancespirit.com/competition-solo-performance-ready-quarantine-2646116405.html https://www.dancespirit.com/competition-solo-performance-ready-quarantine-2646116405.html Thu, 28 May 2020 20:39:07 UTC Helen Rolfe at Dance Spirit When you're bored in the house (and you're in the house bored), Nationals can feel like a dream that might never come true. But Kendall Moshay, Hollywood Vibe's Intermediate Dancer of the Year 2019, knows that now is the time to make like a Girl Scout and be prepared: "Sooner or later, everything will go back to normal—and you don't want to be left behind." Here are some top tips to keep your competition solo totally stage-ready, even when you couldn't be farther from a stage.Get Your Head—and Hair!—in the GameYou've probably heard this from your own teachers a million times, but it bears repeating: "You wouldn't come to the studio with your pajamas on and your hair a mess, so don't practice your solo like that," says Kelly Burke, owner and artistic director of Westchester Dance Academy in Mount Kisco, NY. Burke's found that those who get ready for quarantine solo rehearsals like they're "normal" solo rehearsals tend to focus and perform better.Modify to MaximizeChances are that you can't safely execute every single step of your solo at home. Mallauri Esquibel, a teacher at NRG danceProject who also guest choreographs across the country, urges caution with floor work, repetitive high-stress jumps, and any acro. At the same time, it's important to keep going through as much of your solo as you can in order to maintain stamina. Don't slip into marking your arms, and make sure you're thinking about activating the muscles you'll need to execute later what you can't exactly do full-out now. "You don't need as much energy to dance in a small space as you do in the studio," Burke says. "Still, try to push yourself through those three minutes as if you were onstage." Moshay also recommends adding some cardio cross-training (like jumping rope or boot-camp moves) to your weekly routine in order to keep stamina high.Dream It UpIf you're recording your solo practice to watch later (which you should!), it's all too easy to fall into the trap of beating yourself up over the smallest mistakes. Positive visualization—which Esquibel does with all of her solo clients—can help. Before you begin each practice session, lie on the floor while your music plays. Think your way through the choreography, picturing yourself nailing every trick and authentically channeling the emotions you want to convey.Find FriendsBoth Esquibel and Burke note that it's trickier for teachers to give valuable individual corrections onscreen. Take a page from Moshay's book and buddy up to get more feedback and accountability. "My friends and I are constantly FaceTiming to give each other tips," Moshay says. You could also try learning each other's competition solos—teaching someone else might show you new ways to improve your own performance.The Write StuffThere's never been a better time to start keeping a dance journal. "You need to write down how you're feeling during this difficult time," Esquibel says. "Your highs and lows, short-term and long-term goals, and corrections that you want to remember." And, no, the Notes app on your phone doesn't count, says Esquibel: "When we do things on our phone, it kind of just feels like texting. It goes in one ear and out the other."You Are Your Own Best TeacherNow's your chance to get used to performing your solo without a mirror, really paying attention to whether a step feels right. Esquibel, for one, believes the pandemic could actually help some more than it harms: "It's unfortunate circumstances, but this generation is for sure going to be the strongest and most creative, because they're having to take responsibility for their own training and artistic development."Above all, don't quit refining your solo because of the uncertainty surrounding this summer's Nationals. "Don't let yourself think that all your work was for nothing," Burke says. "You're still working on your solos to become a stronger, better, more technical dancer, no matter when you get to perform them." http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ #TBT: Antoinette Sibley and Brian Shaw in "The Sleeping Beauty" (1963) https://www.pointemagazine.com/tbt-antoinette-sibley-and-brian-shaw-2646114253.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/tbt-antoinette-sibley-and-brian-shaw-2646114253.html Thu, 28 May 2020 14:07:26 UTC Julia Guiheen at Pointe The charming and exuberant Antoinette Sibley became a principal at The Royal Ballet in 1960, when she was just 21 years old. Sibley dazzled alongside many danseurs during her career, including former principal Brian Shaw, a bravura dancer known for his virtuosic turns and jumps. The two were a natural cast for The Sleeping Beauty's Bluebird pas de deux, captured here in this 1963 film.The clip begins at 0:38 as Sibley flutters from the wing and Shaw bounds in behind her with a crisp assembl� vol�. The tempo is lively, but Sibley and Shaw bring a regal, lyrical quality to the adagio. In their variations, Shaw's spectacular ballon propels him off the floor in never-ending jumps, while Sibley's staccato footwork brings the music to life. The pair really brings out all the stops in the coda: Shaw's infamous bris� vol� diagonal is wildly bendy, and Sibley whirls deftly in brisk double piqu� turns. Their final diagonal is the most thrilling as they dance, perfectly synced, as the score climbs to crescendo. Happy #ThrowbackThursday! http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ How to Dance Outside https://www.dancespirit.com/how-to-dance-outside-2646107293.html https://www.dancespirit.com/how-to-dance-outside-2646107293.html Thu, 28 May 2020 11:00:08 UTC Haley Hilton at Dance Spirit We've all been stubbing our toes and whacking our elbows dancing in less-than-roomy indoor spots lately (hello, 5' x 8' patch of bathroom tile). If you're lucky enough to have access to a backyard or other big green space right now, you're probably itching to take your grand allegro outside, especially as the weather gets warmer. But how can you dance safely and productively in the great outdoors? We got pro tips from Mike Tyus of Jacob Jonas The Company and Xin Ying of Martha Graham Dance Company, both of whom were dancing outside long before COVID-19 hit. Make Smart Footwear ChoicesWhat you put on your feet can make or break your outdoor dance experience—and, if you're not wise, your ankles, too. Your footwear should reflect the style of dance you're doing and the purpose of the outing. "If I'm just posing, like for a photo shoot, I might take my shoes off for the shot," Ying says. "But if I'm really dancing, that's not a good idea. I stick to sneakers that protect my feet." Tyus looks for a combination of flexibility and support. "I like to wear shoes that I can feel my feet in, yet still have a sole for protection," he says. "I like canvas shoes, like Converse or Vans." Find the Right LocationIf you're dancing in public outdoor spaces, choosing a safe location is crucial, especially in this era of social distancing. "You want to avoid as many people as possible," Tyus says. "With restaurants and grocery stores closed, many parking lots are completely empty, leaving some great open spaces." Tyus also likes to dance in empty parking garages. "The smooth concrete floors are ideal for turning," he says. Beyond practicality, choose a location that inspires you. "The greatest thing about dancing outdoors is what the location itself adds to your dancing," Tyus says. Ying likes outside spots with a view. "Go up on your roof or out to the park," she says. "Use the sensation of the wind through your hair, or the way the birds are singing, to dance in a way you never have before." Manage Unpredictable SurfacesThe natural world doesn't come equipped with sprung Marley floors, so you're going to have to troubleshoot for less-than-ideal dance surfaces. "Concrete is nice and smooth for turns, but you don't want to do huge tricks or jumps on it, because it's super hard," Tyus says. "Soft grass, on the other hand, absorbs shock, so it's great for big jumps and acrobatics. And sand can be really fun because you can fall without hurting yourself, and the resistance of the sand will strengthen your muscles." If your outdoor space is problematic, Ying recommends not pushing yourself too hard. "You don't necessarily have to do turns or jumps," she says. "You can avoid the things that might injure you by focusing on more lyrical, stretchy movement. Alter your dancing depending on the surface."Plan for the WeatherWeather conditions like glare, wind, and rain can throw a wrench in your outdoor dance plans. Establish your own weather-related boundaries. "I don't like to dance in the rain, so I simply don't go out on bad weather days," Ying says. "Some people enjoy it, but I would rather watch the forecast, and go out on a day that's nicer." Tyus, on the other hand, often embraces unexpected weather. "The glare of the sun can look great in a lot of photos, and the wind looks really cool moving through loose clothing. Even rain can produce some really fun stuff," he says. "You just need to adjust your perspective." That said, you should never dance outdoors if you hear thunder or see lightning, or if winds are strong or unpredictable.Enjoy It!"I've always danced outdoors," Ying says. "I'm glad other dancers are using this time to explore the joy that can come from it. Beyond the inherent inspiration, it's a great way to get over any fears of dancing in public."Tyus agrees. "Dance isn't something that was made to be inside," he says. "It was made as a reflection of, and connection to, nature itself. Right now we get to go back to where we started. Dancing outdoors has changed the way I see dance, and I hope it changes the way other people see it, too." http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You https://www.pointemagazine.com/ballet-2020-grads-2646107028.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/ballet-2020-grads-2646107028.html Wed, 27 May 2020 18:40:25 UTC Pointe Magazine at Pointe Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors! You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.To further f�te all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter! http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ 2020 Grads: Enter to Win One of 100 Free Subscriptions to Pointe! https://www.pointemagazine.com/2020-grads-enter-to-win-one-of-100-free-subscriptions-to-pointe-2646108147.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/2020-grads-enter-to-win-one-of-100-free-subscriptions-to-pointe-2646108147.html Wed, 27 May 2020 16:56:28 UTC Pointe Magazine at Pointe Loading… http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ (Virtual) Dancing with the Stars: How to Get the Most Out of Online Classes with Dance Celebs https://www.pointemagazine.com/online-classes-dance-stars-2646107066.html https://www.pointemagazine.com/online-classes-dance-stars-2646107066.html Wed, 27 May 2020 14:42:02 UTC Kathryn Homes For Dance Spirit at Pointe When your dance studio is your second home, taking class in your actual home just isn't the same. But if there's one silver lining to the current situation, it's that some of the biggest dance stars from stage and screen have gone online to lead barres, host dance parties, demonstrate combos, and teach technique classes—some of which are completely free. "Students can learn so much from working with the pros directly," says American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who teaches on Zoom through Universal Ballet Competition as well as offering the Cindies Ballet Class on Instagram Live with fellow ABT principal James Whiteside. "It's inspiring and eye-opening to connect with dancers all over the world."So what benefits do these virtual master classes offer? How do they fit into your overall training regimen? And how do you even navigate all of the content that's out there? Read on for advice from the pros.Be ChoosyIs there a teacher you've always wanted to take from, but couldn't get to in person? Are dancers from your dream company or summer intensive offering online classes? Lisa Pelliteri, owner of Plumb Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale, AZ, encourages seeking out virtual classes that will help you explore your career goals. "I tell my students, 'Please experiment!'" she says. "Learn what's out there. See what a style feels like on your body. Try something different." Celeb master classes can count as research toward your future.As you follow your dreams and whims, consider the pros and cons of various platforms. Is the class live or pre-recorded? Will there be interaction with the teacher? Will you be able to access a recording after the live session, to keep practicing? Wanting a workout is different from craving technical feedback, and there's content out there to meet every conceivable need.Plan How You'll LearnFor virtual workshops, let go of the pressure to get every detail right. "Focus on broad strokes first," says commercial performer Dana Wilson, who teaches for New York City Dance Alliance, including NYCDA's ongoing Virtual Dance Experience. If the teacher posts YouTube videos, prep for success in the live session by watching them, to get a feel for their style. Also, on a platform like Instagram Live where the teacher can't see you, "feel empowered to do a bit of your own thing," Wilson says. "A hidden gem here is that you can exercise your creativity."On Zoom, which promises more interaction, go in with realistic expectations about the kind of feedback you'll be able to get, and how much. Francesca Hayward, principal at The Royal Ballet and star of the 2019 movie CATS, prefers not to single anyone out in her Zoom classes for UBC. "When I see something, I'll give everyone a reminder of what I would think of while doing that movement," she says. Because UBC's virtual workshops also include a Q&A with the teacher at the end of class, any lingering questions can be addressed then.Lags between devices and mirrored camera settings can keep teachers from assessing your timing, musicality or footing. Instead, anticipate comments on placement, shape, spatial orientation and performance quality. Wilson has also been using her Zoom classes to introduce camera terminology. "Mid-shot, closeup, extreme closeup—this is language dancers may need when jobs come back," she says.Finally, whatever type of class you're in, "treat it like a private lesson," Wilson advises. "If the teacher asks a question, answer it out loud, even if you're on mute. Talking out loud can commit lessons to memory, just as dancing full out encourages muscle memory."Take It Home"Online master classes aren't a replacement for your studio classes," cautions Pelliteri. Even in a time when physical contact isn't an option, your regular teachers know you on a personal level. "We know what you're working on and can give more precise corrections," Pelliteri says. If a comment in a master class resonates with you, bring it to your studio teacher to dig deeper.Above all, remember that the benefits of a virtual master class go far beyond honing your technique and performance. "This is such a tough time," Hayward says. "At the moment, we all need inspiration and motivation, and to remember the joy of moving our bodies in space. I hope classes like mine can help keep things feeling fresh and exciting until we're all safely back to the studio." http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ (Virtual) Dancing with the Stars: How to Get the Most Out of Online Classes with Dance Celebs https://www.dancespirit.com/online-classes-dance-stars-2646106909.html https://www.dancespirit.com/online-classes-dance-stars-2646106909.html Wed, 27 May 2020 14:42:02 UTC Kathryn Holmes at Dance Spirit When your dance studio is your second home, taking class in your actual home just isn't the same. But if there's one silver lining to the current situation, it's that some of the biggest dance stars from stage and screen have gone online to lead barres, host dance parties, demonstrate combos, and teach technique classes—some of which are completely free. "Students can learn so much from working with the pros directly," says American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who teaches on Zoom through Universal Ballet Competition as well as offering the Cindies Ballet Class on Instagram Live with fellow ABT principal James Whiteside. "It's inspiring and eye-opening to connect with dancers all over the world."So what benefits do these virtual master classes offer? How do they fit into your overall training regimen? And how do you even navigate all of the content that's out there? Read on for advice from the pros.Be ChoosyIs there a teacher you've always wanted to take from, but couldn't get to in person? Are dancers from your dream company or summer intensive offering online classes? Lisa Pelliteri, owner of Plumb Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale, AZ, encourages seeking out virtual classes that will help you explore your career goals. "I tell my students, 'Please experiment!'" she says. "Learn what's out there. See what a style feels like on your body. Try something different." Celeb master classes can count as research toward your future.As you follow your dreams and whims, consider the pros and cons of various platforms. Is the class live or pre-recorded? Will there be interaction with the teacher? Will you be able to access a recording after the live session, to keep practicing? Wanting a workout is different from craving technical feedback, and there's content out there to meet every conceivable need.Plan How You'll LearnFor virtual workshops, let go of the pressure to get every detail right. "Focus on broad strokes first," says commercial performer Dana Wilson, who teaches for New York City Dance Alliance, including NYCDA's ongoing Virtual Dance Experience. If the teacher posts YouTube videos, prep for success in the live session by watching them, to get a feel for their style. Also, on a platform like Instagram Live where the teacher can't see you, "feel empowered to do a bit of your own thing," Wilson says. "A hidden gem here is that you can exercise your creativity."On Zoom, which promises more interaction, go in with realistic expectations about the kind of feedback you'll be able to get, and how much. Francesca Hayward, principal at The Royal Ballet and star of the 2019 movie CATS, prefers not to single anyone out in her Zoom classes for UBC. "When I see something, I'll give everyone a reminder of what I would think of while doing that movement," she says. Because UBC's virtual workshops also include a Q&A with the teacher at the end of class, any lingering questions can be addressed then.Lags between devices and mirrored camera settings can keep teachers from assessing your timing, musicality or footing. Instead, anticipate comments on placement, shape, spatial orientation and performance quality. Wilson has also been using her Zoom classes to introduce camera terminology. "Mid-shot, closeup, extreme closeup—this is language dancers may need when jobs come back," she says.Finally, whatever type of class you're in, "treat it like a private lesson," Wilson advises. "If the teacher asks a question, answer it out loud, even if you're on mute. Talking out loud can commit lessons to memory, just as dancing full out encourages muscle memory."Take It Home"Online master classes aren't a replacement for your studio classes," cautions Pelliteri. Even in a time when physical contact isn't an option, your regular teachers know you on a personal level. "We know what you're working on and can give more precise corrections," Pelliteri says. If a comment in a master class resonates with you, bring it to your studio teacher to dig deeper.Above all, remember that the benefits of a virtual master class go far beyond honing your technique and performance. "This is such a tough time," Hayward says. "At the moment, we all need inspiration and motivation, and to remember the joy of moving our bodies in space. I hope classes like mine can help keep things feeling fresh and exciting until we're all safely back to the studio." http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/