Teen Vogue's "Strictly Ballet" Heads to Miami

Teen Vogue’s “Strictly Ballet” is back. The popular web series, which took us inside the lives of School of American Ballet students last year, heads to Florida and into the halls of the Miami City Ballet School. The show, which premiered May 20, follows seven MCBS dancers between ages 14 and 21, and from countries ranging from Brazil to Russia. Each faces the agonizing question of whether they’ll be successful in their chosen profession. This week, three more episodes were released on Condé Nast Entertainment’s web channel, The Scene.

 

In episode 7, Valeriia, who trained at the Vaganova Academy before coming to MCBS, feels she has nothing to go back to in Russia. Unable to secure a contract there, she asserts that she simply has to get into a company in America—there’s no room for the contemplation of “or else.” However, she and her peers face one the harshest realities of a ballet dancer’s life: when you are on the cusp of your professional career, a single director’s whim may determine your whole future. In an audition with over one hundred people, how do you get one pair of eyes to notice you? In a studio video recording, how do you make your personality and the unique subtleties of your dancing come across on camera?

 

You can check out Valeriia’s story, as well as how she puts together her audition video, below. And make sure to check out The Scene to catch up on all other episodes of "Strictly Ballet." (Hint: episode 4 features Pointe’s April/May cover girl, Nathalia Arja.)

Health & Body
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I have very tapered Morton's toes (longer second toes). My big toe joints are about a half centimeter shorter than my second and third toe joints, so I have a terrible time finding stability on demi-pointe. My weight lands on that second toe joint, which is pretty narrow and uncomfortable under that pressure. How can I find a more stable relevé? —Larissa

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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News
The National Ballet of Canada's Harrison James and Emma Hawes in Orpheus Alive. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

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

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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