Tough Times

The recession is hitting the ballet world hard. Faced with significant shortfalls, New York City Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Florida and Miami City Ballet have been forced to cut dancers from their ranks. Eleven NYCB, nine NBT and nine BF members will not be returning next season, and eight MCB dancers, fresh from the company’s triumphant first NYC season, also discovered that their contracts would not be renewed. American Ballet Theatre’s dancers have accepted a proposal eliminating pension contributions and vacation pay in 2009, but the plan allows the company to retain all 86 of them. There’s happier news at Texas Ballet Theater, which was on the verge of folding last year. The company has made such a strong recovery that they plan to add three dancers to their roster next season and to extend the length of their dancer contracts by three weeks. — MF

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What's Ahead for Ballet Companies in the Age of COVID-19?

Let's be frank: No one knows what's ahead for the performing arts in the U.S. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of nearly a year of performances so far, including many Nutcrackers, ballet companies face a daunting path ahead with no roadmap for how to survive. While schools can offer classes online or in small groups, what does the future hold for companies when it's not safe to gather large audiences or corps de ballet?

"We are in for a very hard set of months," says Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. "Nothing will change until there's a vaccine."

Pointe set out to find out what the new normal looks like while the virus is with us.

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7 Tips for Improving Your Piqué Turns, Plus Advice for Practicing at Home

A string of piqué turns en dedans, says Erica Fischbach, director of Colorado Ballet Academy, should appear powerful yet effortless. "The effect you want to create is that you're flying." Here are her tips to achieve this as you whirl through the ends of your variations. Plus, don't miss the video below for Fischbach's advice on how to practice piqué turns while training at home.

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BalletMet costume shop manager Erin Rollins in a costume fitting with Leiland Charles. Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet

A Costume Shop Manager's Expert Advice for Making Your Dancewear Last Longer

What's the best way to extend the life of your favorite leotard or piece of workout wear? Aside from fabric quality, it largely comes down to what you do on laundry day.

We spoke with Erin Rollins, costume shop manager at BalletMet, for her top tips on keeping your beloved dancewear in rotation for years to come. (Spoiler alert: No, washing and drying everything on the same setting isn't advised.)

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