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The New Ballerina Project Book is Finally Here!

Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.


Courtesy Chronicle Books

For 18 years, Shitagi photographed hundreds of ballet dancers in locations all over the world—streets, beaches, rooftops, you name it. (I'm biased, but one of my favorites is this image of my friend Violeta Angelova, hanging gracefully from Brooklyn's Williamsburg Bridge.) His work became a viral phenomenon on social media, where he has over a million followers in Instagram. His new book features over 50 renowned ballet dancers, with major cities like New York City, London, Buenos Aires and Paris serving as their backdrop.

Julie Doherty poses on the beach, from the book Ballerina Project.

Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

So clear a space on your coffee table! This hardcover book is even bound in pink satin, a nod to pointe shoes. You'll be able to purchase Ballerina Project, currently available for pre-order, at book stores nationwide on September 17, including major retailers like Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Target. And New York City dancers, listen up: To celebrate its release, Rizzoli Bookstore is having a launch party on Sunday, September 15. Fans will be able to meet and get their books signed by some of Ballerina Project's featured dancers, including American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston, Kathryn Boren and Brittany DeGrofft and High Strung Free Dance star Juliet Doherty. Click here for more information about this free event.

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Sponsored by Ellison Ballet
Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

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Ballet Stars
Karina González in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

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I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

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Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs, and each category was assigned

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