National Dance Week starts tomorrow. We’ve been so busy putting the final touches on Pointe’s June/July issue that I almost forgot about it until my home studio, Professional Ballet School in California, posted on Facebook that they’re offering free dance classes. If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend you check one out.
It’s that time of year again: Youth America Grand Prix finals. This weekend, scores of talented young dancers will descend on New York City, hoping to impress, to be seen, to win a medal, a scholarship or maybe even a job. Merde to all of the Pointe readers who will be competing!
Long days in the studio or theater require lots of water to prevent dehydration—and tasty snacks to stay energized! Try this recipe for muesli muffins from the Royal Danish Ballet’s multi-talented Shelby Elsbree: “Nuts and fruits can get monotonous. I decided that I should concoct a 'Power Snack' to enjoy during our short intermissions. I came up with these multi-berry, high energy muesli muffins. They have an optimum combo of powerful, tasty ingredients in every bite.”
Another reason to be jealous of Torontonians: The National Ballet of Canada offers a very cool series called Ballet Class with the Stars. Every month or so, the company’s principal dancers take a break from rehearsals to teach an open master class to local dance students. Participation is open to any aspiring preprofessional aged 14 or older who's reached at least an intermediate level of technique.
Marie Claire posted a fun, investigative slideshow earlier this week that compares the fitness levels of five types of athletes. In addition to a biker, a boxer, a yogi and a runner, they put American Ballet Theatre soloist Stella Abrera to the test. The results? Abrera had the strongest core—and unsurprisingly lovely legs.
English National Ballet has just named Tamara Rojo as it’s new artistic director. The 37-year-old Royal Ballet principal will take the reins from Wayne Eagling, who resigned a few weeks ago. Rojo has had her sights set on becoming an artistic director for quite some time—she has a master’s degree in scenic arts and has previously shadowed National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain to gain insight into the position.
Forget his ridiculous leaps and irresistible stage presence—Ivan Vasiliev officially became one of my favorite people when he told Pointe that he’d “love to be tall, blond and have blue eyes…and Wolverine claws!” And, just FYI, the guy also has a remote-control helicopter that he can operate with his iPhone. If you haven’t yet read Laura Cappelle’s interview with the Bolshoi-turned-Mikhailovsky superstar, you’re missing out.
Sometimes, a plain old downward dog isn't enough. For dancers who like to defy the laws of physics, anti-gravity yoga quite literally takes cross-training to a whole new level. This hybrid technique of yoga and aerial arts helps stretch and strengthen the body without straining your joints by using a silk hammock as a prop for your positions. The hammock was originally developed by Christopher Harrsion as an apparatus for his acrobatic performance company AntiGravity.