Jennifer Stahl's blog

In Pointe's December/January issue, three dancers looked back at the summer intensive teachers who helped inspire and inform their careers. Here, Tiler Peck remembers her own seminal summer teacher, as told to writer Joseph Carman.

 

Say what you will about Nutcracker, but there's something magical about the ballet. The snowflakes falling on the stage, the little girls in the audience falling for tutus and pointe shoes.

 

Each December, Pointe chooses the top 10 standout ballet performances of the year. We poll our contributors from around the globe about every dancer they’ve seen, then a team of editors dukes it out to decide the final list. This year’s group was a pretty incredible bunch, ranging from the inimitable Sylvie Guillem to up-and-comer Grace Shibley to the historic day-long livestream from The Royal Ballet.

Picture this: You have a personal invite to David Hallberg's rehearsals and performances with American Ballet Theatre. He regularly gives you individual training and coaching advice. He takes a special interest in your career.

 

When hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast on October 29, Colleen Cericola's Staten Island home, which she shared with her two children, was completely destroyed, along with all of her possessions. That same night, her neighbor Patricia Dresch, lost her husband George and her 13-year-old daughter Angela in the storm.

 

What's Kevin O'Hare planning to do with The Royal Ballet? A video feature published today by online magazine Crane.tv interviews the new artistic director about his vision for the company. Get a peek inside the Royal's studios, hear O'Hare's plans for the future and watch footage of the dancers performing a number of ballets, including a new Wayne McGregor work. It's like a 3-minute trip to Covent Garden.

The Royal Danish Ballet's Ida Praetorius may only be 19, but she's quickly making her mark on the ballet world.

 

Last year, Pointe highlighted her as one of the standouts of 2011—when she was only an apprentice! Artistic director Nikolai Hubbe had cast her in the lead of Fleming Flindt's The Lesson for the company's U.S. tour, and she astounded us with her expressive movement and innate dramatic flair.

 

Forget about growing chia "pets"—that was for the 80s. Instead, sprinkle some chia onto your breakfast. As a recent article in The New York Times points out, these little seeds have recently made a comeback as a trendy health item. The nutritional buzz is more than just hype: Chia is loaded with fiber and calcium, and even offers some protein. Mostly though, it's a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially when eaten ground, rather than whole.

Misty Copeland has been one of my favorite dancers to watch this past year. The American Ballet Theatre soloist has always turned heads with her charismatic presence, but lately, she's polished up her technique and added a beautiful sense of nuance to her natural power—and it's made her simply magnetic on stage.

 

Last week, the Pointe staff got to spend a day with New York City Ballet's ever-lovable Lauren Lovette and Daniel Ulbricht for an upcoming story we're working on. It turns out "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl got the same treat.