Looking at the color blue may help boost creativity.

Dancers are among the most creative people in the world, but that doesn't mean they don't ever get stuck in a rut. Whether you're struggling with choreographer's block or working out a new approach to a tricky piece, try these quick, quirky strategies to get your wheels turning.


1. Look at something blue.
A University of British Columbia study suggests that the color blue is most likely to increase our ability to think creatively. Because we tend to associate it with the ocean and sky, it makes us think of openness in general, letting us feel safer about exploring new ideas.

2. Lie down. Sometimes it helps to literally see things from a different angle. Researchers at the Australian National University found that people were able to solve anagrams (a type of word puzzle) more quickly when lying down versus sitting up.

3. Daydream. It might sound unproductive, but researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara found that letting your mind wander could actually help with creative problem solving. Try taking a short walk and allowing your thoughts to flow freely—your next great idea could be right around the corner.

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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