As a young ballet student in small-town Oklahoma, Emily Hunter thought she knew exactly what she wanted to be: a principal in a classical ballet company. But by the time she enrolled in the University of Iowa’s dance department, she’d begun to have doubts.

 

“After puberty hit, and I was facing the reality of my body’s limitations, I had to rethink who I was as a dancer,” she says. “During college, I began taking modern classes and working with contemporary choreographers. That exposure helped me discover that I didn’t have to be a tutu-and-tiara girl. I still loved the challenge of classical technique, but I felt more at home in contemporary mode.”

 

Today Hunter is a member of Texas Dance Theatre, a contemporary ballet company with a wide-ranging repertoire. She also teaches contemporary dance classes at a local studio and choreographs her own contemporary works, including several for TDT. “If I had limited myself to classical ballet, I don’t know if I would ever have been inspired to choreograph,” she says. “The contemporary style opened doors for me. It allowed me to find my own voice as a choreographer, and my own unique way of moving as a dancer.”

 

 

Instagram

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.

Keep reading...
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?

Keep reading...
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.

Keep reading...
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.

Keep reading...