Jennifer Stahl's blog

You’ve always suspected that you’re different from your civilian, non-dancer friends. It turns out that science can back you up. According to a study published in PloS Genetics, dancers show consistent differences from the general population in two key genes. One contributes to spiritual experience, and the other modulates social communication and bonding behaviors.

Having trouble with your attitude turns? Susan Jaffe has some tips to offer. Our sister publication Dance Teacher filmed a short how-to video with the former ABT icon to help you find that beautiful place where you can simply soar around. Check it out on dancemedia.com.

Blisters are like irritating little sisters. While they aren't truly traumatic or career-threatening, for ballet dancers, they can be an almost constant annoyance, continually nagging at your toes with pinches of pain.

 

So what's a bunhead to do? Toe pads help, but there's more to blister care than stuffing your pointe shoes full of padding.

 

1. Get fitted by a professional. Feet change over time, so if you suddenly have blisters popping up, last year's maker may no longer be right for you.

 

Dancers aren't the only ones who defy gravity onstage. Tutus have their own magical way of looking otherworldly. Ever wondered how you could create your own from scratch? Prescott & Mackay, an independent fashion design school with locations in London and San Francisco, offers two-day tutu-making courses using The Royal Ballet standard. Over the course of 14 hours, students create a 10-layer, 16 inch tutu skirt, guided by costumer Amanda Hall.

What makes Los Angeles such an elusive place for ballet? The city is a cultural capital when you look at it in terms of music, theater and visual art, not to mention film. But for some reason, concert dance has never been able to set down roots with any permanence or prestige. Even Los Angeles Ballet's name-brand directors and choreographers haven't been able to lift that company out of pick-up troupe status.

 

Dead pointe shoes aren't good for much. But the Kentucky Museum has decided to spotlight a couple of iconic pairs as part of their Instruments of American Excellence exhibit. One of the sets is from New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, the other from American Ballet Theatre's Julie Kent. They'll be presented along with over 140 pieces of memorabilia such as the underwater camera housing used by Titanic discoverer Dr.

Dancers live hectic lives. There isn't always time to cook up the ideal snack. Carolina Ballet corps de ballet member Cecilia Iliesiu takes a short cut: Her homemade "energy bites" skip the baking process altogether. All you have to do is stir the ingredients together, roll into balls and eat! "They're a great protein boost for five-minute rehearsal breaks during the day, or between acts during a show," says Iliesiu. She shared her recipe with Pointe.

 

No-Bake Energy Bites

Ingredients:

Want to sit down with Peter Boal, Alexei Ratmansky and Nikolai Hübbe? Okay, maybe you can't bring them into your living room in person. But you can stream their chats at Guggenheim's Works & Process live on your computer. Here are three dates every bunhead should mark on the calendar.

 

September 9 at 7:30 pm EST: Balanchine by Way of Seattle

After a challenging day in the studio, how do you refuel? BalletMet's Kerri Riccardi cooks up some stuffed peppers. Her recipe's filled with a nutritious mix of veggies and protein.

 

The season of summer festivals may be winding down, but it's not over yet. Next week will bring the Laguna Dance Festival to southern California. Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Orange County's own Backhausedance will take the stage of the intimate Laguna Playhouse.