Blogs

This interview appeared in the January 16 Pointe e-newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.

The School of American Ballet has a new location: Orange County. Well, at least for the summer. SAB’s Los Angeles Workshop for Young Dancers launched in Santa Monica in 2011, but this year it's moving to the more centrally-located Maple Conservatory of Dance in Irvine to improve its accessibility for students throughout Southern California. The workshop is designed to introduce serious ballet students ages 10 to 14 to SAB's curriculum. Dancers are taught technique, pointe and variations by members of the school’s permanent faculty, such as Darci Kistler, Katrina Killian and Sheryl Ware.

This week's episode of "Bunheads" featured "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 5 winner Jeanine Mason's debut as sophisticated new girl Cozette. I love that choreographer Marguerite Derricks has been bringing in "SYTYCD" alums—Kent Boyd has been especially great—who elevate the level of the dancing on the show. But I was a bit disappointed with the way "Bunheads" decided to use Jeanine.

Prix de Lausanne finals will be streaming live on February 2—and if you download the competition’s app onto your iPhone or iPad, you can watch the dancers perform right in the palm of your hand. See some of the most promising students from around the world go head to head for top scholarships and career-launching prizes.

Before becoming a beloved prima ballerina with New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan was just another girl growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonight, local TV station KET will air "Wendy Whelan: Moments of Grace" on its Kentucky Muse program at 10 pm EST (and the station will rerun it next Wednesday at 8 pm). Those of us who live in other states can watch it stream online at ket.org/live. The documentary explores Whelan's childhood growing up in Kentucky, and gives an inside look at the impact of her roots on her incredible career.

Want to actually follow through on your resolutions this year? Keep yourself on track by journaling your progress. San Francisco–based dance instructor Cera Byer has designed an agenda book just for dancers. The 2013 Dancers Day Planner lets you plot out your goals for each month and each week. In addition to a to-do list, the daily appointment calendar gives you space to log your classes, planning your intentions ahead of time and then recording any corrections afterward. Each page also offers an inspirational quote, a technique tip or an exercise to try at home.

Want to work on your versatility this summer? There's a new intensive you should check out: Modas Dance, run by former LINES Ballet school director Layla Amis and former San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem dancer Duncan Cooper. The two regularly set up weekend workshops in studios throughout the country, and just launched their summer program last year. Their faculty members include the likes of Ashley Tuttle, Tai Jimenez and LINES ballet master Arturo Fernandez.

The only thing better than getting into a great summer intensive? Winning a full scholarship. The Joffrey Ballet School has teamed up with our sister publication Dance Magazine to offer 30 promising students full-tuition scholarships to Joffrey Ballet School programs, including Joffrey Ballet Intensive NYC, Joffrey West LA, Joffrey Jazz & Contemporary NYC, Joffrey NYC Young Dancer Program, Joffrey Southwest Dallas and Joffrey Miami. There's no need to audition.

Quirky and appealing as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “Bunheads” can be, the charm flags quickly when she gets too far away from the dance studio. Last night’s winter season premiere spent many long minutes getting Michelle (Sutton Foster) back under the wing of Madame Fanny (Kelly Bishop) and the dancers back in training under Fanny’s eagle eye.

 

Choreographers get inspiration from all sources. This winter, Diablo Ballet's Robert Dekkers is getting his from Twitter. Starting today, the California company is inviting people to Tweet their ideas for a new ballet using the hashtag #DiabloWebBallet. You can suggest emotions, moods, specific steps or music. Voting closes February 14, when Dekkers will choose the seven best suggestions and then spend two weeks putting them all together for The Web Ballet, to premiere March 1.