“A lot of ballet dancers only do ballet. That’s such a waste of talent.” —Roddy Doble

Tap dancing has always been a way for American Ballet Theatre corps member Roddy Doble to loosen up—physically and mentally. “I took tap classes from the time I was 9 at my studio in Connecticut,” he remembers. “In ballet class, I was naturally very strong, but I lacked flexibility, so I always looked tense. Tapping allowed me to free up my body, because the rules weren’t quite so strict. And I think because I wasn’t taking it as seriously as my ballet classes, it relaxed my approach to dance in general.” He loved watching clips of the famous tap duo the Nicholas Brothers, and tried to emulate their easy, debonair style.

Today it’s hard for Doble to fit tap classes into his busy ABT schedule, but he still pulls out videos of classic tap routines, like Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor’s “Moses Supposes” number from Singin’ in the Rain. Doble finds that channeling those greats’ old-school tap showmanship can breathe life into his character roles at ABT.

“Ballet dancers shouldn’t be scared of tap,” he says. “It’s really just another form of cross-training. Studying ballet from a ballet standpoint only gets you so far. And if you want to do well in a company setting, never let the people at the front of the room find something you can’t do!”

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Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

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Darian Volkova, Courtesy Shayer

After years of rigorous training, ballet dancers become accustomed to constructive and oftentimes harsh criticism. Being scrutinized is something that comes with the territory.

I myself spent the better half of my high school years in Russia, where political correctness does not get in the way of progress. We were trained to use criticism as fuel to propel us forward. Everything said in class or rehearsal was meant to help better ourselves and not to be taken personally.

But where is the line between helpful advice and offensive language?

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News
Greta Hodgkinson and Guillaume Côté in Margeurite and Armand. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

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

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Training
Students at Sun King Dance's Adult Ballet Camp. Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography, Courtesy Sun King Dance.

For adult recreational dancers, summer isn't just a time for swapping out warm-up sweaters for breezy tees—it's also about taking your training to the next level, and perhaps packing your bags for a ballet workshop. Why should teens and pre-professionals have all of the fun? Fortunately, there are scores of adult summer programs all over the United States, and even abroad for those of you looking to sprinkle in a little sightseeing after your final reverénce. (Can't wait for summer? Check out these spring workshops at National Ballet of Canada and Sarasota Ballet.)

What can adults expect from a weekend or a week of dance training? Everything from technique to repertoire to yoga. Most of all, it's a chance to just dig in and dance, without a pesky to-do list waiting for you after class. Here are some summer programs designed for adult recreational dancers to keep on your radar.

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