Blogs

The amount of thought that goes into dancers’ daily habits seems nuts. But we can't help it: The stakes are high when everything from what you snack on to how you clip your toenails affects your performance. In Pointe's April/May issue, we went inside the routines of six dancers to find out their secret obsessions.

The "bad boy" of ballet is at it again: Sergei Polunin seems to have walked out on rehearsals for Peter Schauffuss's highly-anticipated London production of Midnight Express. For those who have been following the 23-year-old dancer's career, his latest move isn't surprising. He abandoned The Royal Ballet last January just a week before he was supposed to star in The Dream. Polunin has since worked with the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow and he guested with The Royal last month.

"Mad Men" returns this Sunday, and with it everyone's favorite female copy chief: Peggy Olson. One thing you probably didn't know: Before she was playing Peggy, actress Elisabeth Moss was an aspiring ballet dancer. She started taking lessons at age 5, and in her teens she attended the School of American Ballet in New York and spent summers at Suzanne Farrell's intensive in DC. “I trained for a long time and I was focused and good," Moss recently told Arrive magazine.

Miami City Ballet just signed a new dancer: former major league baseball catcher Mike Piazza. The  company has been loving sports stars recently. In February, they teamed up with the Miami Heat. Now, Piazza will take the stage with MCB on May 3 in Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. The baseball legend—who played with the Dodgers, the Marlins, the Mets, the Padres and the A's—won't be doing any grand jetés, though.

Few topics in the dance world are more fraught than motherhood. No, we’re not talking about the dragon mothers on “Dance Moms,” but the challenges of balancing pregnancy and parenting with the physical demands of dance. Not only do artists struggle when pregnancy changes their dancer bodies, but the stress and schedule of performing and touring aren’t always compatible with parenthood.

 

I’ve always been ashamed to admit that I try harder in class when I know the teacher is looking at me. I also elevate my arabesque higher when I'm standing next to the girl with great extension. While I realize competition is part of our human nature, I wish I could push myself on my own. Now, there's a new (free!) app, Proof!, that helps you accomplish your goals by adding a little friendly virtual competition. Through the app, you set up personalized goals and share them with friends or family.

The monthly cycle of blues and bloating before your period can make dancing feel infinitely more difficult. But there's good news: A recent study from the University of Massachusetts shows that simply adjusting your diet can reduce PMS symptoms. The researchers followed 3,000 women over 10 years, assessing physical and emotional PMS symptoms as well as diet. The results showed that a high intake of iron decreased PMS symptoms. The type of iron that works best is found in plants and supplements, not in meat.

This blog could easily turn into a daily feed of fashion-meets-ballet news and nothing else. Don't worry, I won't let that happen. But indulge me just once more this week, because I can't help sharing this photo that David Hallberg just posted of his fashion spread in this month's Vogue.

It seems like the catwalk has become a sort of second stage for dancers these days. The latest ballerinas moonlighting as runway models are Miami City Ballet's Callie Manning, Suzanne Limbrunner and Adriana Pierce. The three dancers made their fashion debut last Friday while showcasing Palm Beach County-based designer Robin Fleming's DUCHESA couture collection for Miami Fashion Week.