Blogs

When I was a young ballet student, I remember writing out a lengthy list of New Year’s Resolutions on a small piece of paper and taping it to the headboard of my bed. It included things like “stretch every day,” “180 degree penché,” "get foot to ear in grand battement," “high arabesque,” and “triple pirouettes.” Each morning when I woke up, my list stared back at me, giving me a boost of motivation.

"Wearable tech" usually means something like Google Glass. But now, it can apply to ballet dancers too.

Brooklyn Ballet teamed up with local hacking collective NYC Resistor to make wearable tech for the company's Nutcracker. The results of their effort were glittering LED tutus for the snowflakes and a light-up shirt for Drosselmeyer that responded to his arm and chest movements.

You probably remember that New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild got married earlier this year. They're two of the ballet world's most capable artists, and their courtship has traced the path of their careers: growing up together as dancers, dating on and off, getting promoted through the company and finally getting married.

Kanses City Ballet's Tempe Ostegren

Kansas City Ballet's Tempe Ostergren, Photo by Kenny Johnson

 

This winter, as you juggle busy rehearsal schedules, Nutcracker performances and New Year's plans, it's important to stay health-conscious to fight off those nasty seasonal colds that can slow you down. Try these foods to give your immune system a boost, so you'll head to the studio feeling your best: 

 

After a particularly rough day in the studio, or a long and tiring performance, last-minute holiday shopping might be the furthest thing from your mind. But a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that shopping can actually boost your mood. 
The research showed that when people were feeling down, shopping was 40 times more likely to cheer them up than other activities.

For ballet dancers, Christmastime means The Nutcracker—and endless weeks of rehearsals and performances. By the time the New Year arrives, we can stand to wait 10 more months for the next round to begin. But despite its relentless repetition, The Nutcracker remains near and dear to many dancers' hearts, with familiar moments sparking memories of childhood. 

 

BalletMet Nutty Nutcracker

 Lewis in The Nutcracker. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet.

What's better than the Nutcracker? The Nutcracker with puppies and kittens, naturally. This year, Sacramento Ballet has partnered with the Front Street Animal Shelter to feature adoptable pets in each of their 13 Nutcracker performances. The critters will have roles in the opening scene—a busy street—and in the party scene at Clara's house.

 

When winter hits (especially if you live in the north), the shorter days and chilly temperatures can start to get you down. But there are simple things you can do to cheer yourself up as you go through your day. Try these tips the next time you're longing for spring: