Gez Xavier Mansfield via Unsplash

Ask Amy: Where to Stand at the Barre in My First Company Class?

I just scored a second company contract and will be taking daily class with the main company starting in the fall. I'm excited, but worried about knowing where to stand at barre. How can I figure that out without taking other dancers' places? —Carolyn

Dancers tend to be weirdly territorial, especially when it comes to where they stand at the barre. This can be tricky to navigate when you're new and in the junior ranks. You could wait until everyone has taken their places, but I think the easiest way is to politely ask a company member where a good place to stand would be. They'll understand where you're coming from (we've all been in your shoes), and will hopefully point you in the right direction. It's a new season, after all, and they know new dancers are coming in. (Keep in mind that some company members will probably waltz in at the last minute.)

Luckily, it doesn't take too long to figure out who stands where. Over the course of the first few weeks, people will settle into their "regular" places. Please don't fret too much over this—you may be in the second company, but you deserve a spot at the barre along with everyone else.

Latest Posts

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Lauren Veyette corrects a student during class. Ariel Rose, Courtesy Veyette Virtual Ballet School.

COVID-19 Has Made It Easier to Train Outside Your Studio—but Should You?

Of all the unprecedented effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the dance world, perhaps the most unthinkable a year ago was the forced pivot to online training. With many studios mandated to close, we've outfitted our homes with barres and marley and harnessed technology to create more learning opportunities than ever before. And now, as some studios reopen for in-person classes (either fully or in hybrid form) and others remain online, it's easier to supplement your school's offerings by adding virtual master classes—or even going to another school for in-studio time. But while being able to take class from anyone, anywhere, offers great opportunities, there are pitfalls to jumping from teacher to teacher. It's important to balance out the pros and cons of creating your own "COVID curriculum."

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Daniil Simkin gives advice during his master class series. Courtesy Dance Masterclass.

In This Master Class Series, Stars Like Daniil Simkin Share Their Technique and Artistry Secrets

Have you ever wondered what Daniil Simkin thinks about when he whips off a series of effortless pirouettes? Or how Polina Semionova initiates her "swan arms" when she dances Odette/Odile? Both dancers are now part of a new streaming platform called Dance-Masterclass, which offers targeted lessons from the ballet world's biggest stars to dancers of all levels. Launched in February, the platform presents 10 to 12-plus gorgeously filmed lessons from a new master teacher each month, with options allowing for private feedback.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks