The Six-Pack Scorcher

Pilates has officially replaced crunches as the top technique to tone your six-pack. A recent study at Auburn University at Montgomery proved “The Teaser” activates 39 percent more of your abdominal muscles and 266 percent more of your external obliques than traditional crunches.  How to master the move: Lie face up with your legs in a tabletop position and arms overhead. Lift your arms and torso toward the ceiling and straighten your legs so that your body forms a V shape. Hold, then slowly roll back down. Aim for 8 to 10 reps.

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The History of Pointe Shoes: The Landmark Moments That Made Ballet's Signature Shoe What It Is Today

Pointe shoes, with their ability to elevate a dancer both literally and metaphorically to a superhuman realm, are the ultimate symbol of a ballerina's ethereality and hard work. For students, receiving a first pair of pointe shoes is a rite of passage. The shoes carry an almost mystical allure: They're an endless source of lore and ritual, with tips, tricks and stories passed down over generations.

The history of pointe shoes reveals how a delicately darned slipper introduced in the 1820s has transformed into a technical tool that offers dancers the utmost freedom onstage today.

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Revisiting Pointe's Past Cover Stars: Adji Cissoko (August/September 2011)

We revisited some of Pointe's past cover stars for their take on how life—and ballet—has changed.

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Bill Cooper, Courtesy The Royal Opera House

Pro Pointe Shoe Hacks from Royal Ballet Principal Yasmine Naghdi

Did you know that Royal Ballet principal Yasmine Naghdi's pointe shoes are actually made up of two different models, combined? Below, watch pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee interview Naghdi on all of her pointe shoe hacks, from her anti-slipping tricks to her darning technique.

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