In The Students' Studio

Recently, I was lucky enough to get some gorgeous photographs of dancers from San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet to post in pointemagazine.com's web exclusives section. Most of the images we run in Pointe feature professionals. I love looking at their strong technique, developed artistry and toned bodies—I once literally drooled on our art director's desk over a pair of beautiful Bolshoi feet.

 

But there's something about the spirit of students—their hunger, their excitement—that creates a different kind of magic on camera. Bay area photographer Douglas Despres recently emailed me a few black and white shots he took of the teenage dancers of Alameda Civic Ballet. As he puts it, "There's this energy, sometimes nervous and sometimes boundless, that the young dancers have, which seems to infuse the studio space with life." Although they may not have 180-degree turnout or nose-high extensions, these preprofessional dancers aren't lacking in passion. Take a peek at Despres' gallery.

Latest Posts


Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

NYCB's Maria Kowroski Reflects on the Challenges, Joys and Mysteries of Balanchine’s "Mozartiana"

The first time I was called to learn Mozartiana, I didn't think I would actually get to do it. It's a coveted ballerina role in the company, and I was still early in my career. But I got to dance it once or twice, and then not again for many years. The ballet isn't in our repertoire that often, so each time we've performed it I've been at a different level as a person and as an artist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Overcome My Fear of Pirouettes on Pointe?

I have a terrible fear of falling when doing turns on pointe. I sometimes cry in class when we have to do new turns that I'm not used to. I can only do bad singles on a good day, while some of my classmates are doing doubles and triples. How can I get over this fear? —Gaby

Keep reading SHOW LESS
xmb photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

What she's always working on: Strengthening her glute-hamstring connection (the "under-butt" area), which provides stability for actions like repetitive relevés and power for jumps. Bridges are her go-to move for conditioning those muscles. "Those 'basic food group'–type exercises are some of the best ones," she says.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks