Ballet West's Beckanne Sisk on "Breaking Pointe"
Ever wonder what it's really like to be in a ballet company? Go behind the scenes at Utah-based Ballet West this summer with "Breaking Pointe," a TV series documenting the passion and pain of professional dancers. We caught up with Ballet West artist Beckanne Sisk to find out about the filming process.
Dance Spirit: What was your reaction when you learned Ballet West would be participating in the show?
Beckanne Sisk: I was a bit nervous because I knew our lives would be out there for the whole world to see. Initially, I didn't want to be on camera--it made me really nervous. But once they started featuring and interviewing me, it was really cool and exciting.
DS: How did filming change your rehearsals and performances?
BS: We tried to forget the cameras were there. But they did motivate us--I made sure I was always wearing makeup! Contstantly having a camera on me made me really push myself. It's kind of quiet and unexciting now that they're gone.
DS: Give us three reasons why we should tune in.
BS: 1. Ballet isn't appreciated the way it should be because people don't understand it. The series will show how much we go through and how much we love it.
2. It's really entertaining--especially for dancers. They'll be able to relate first-hand to everything that happens.
3. Every little girl who's dreamed of becoming a ballerina will see there's so much more to being a ballet dancer than just performing beautifully and receiving praise.
We're convinced! The show premieres May 31. Can't wait? Watch the "Breaking Pointe" trailer here.
Ballet West artist Beckanne Sisk as Kitri in the 2011 production of Anna Marie Holmes' Don Quixote. Photo by Luke Isley.
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
Week five of "Dancing with the Stars" proved to be one of the best weeks of the season so far. (And we're not just saying that because Mickey made a cameo debut on the piano during one of the routines—although that certainly didn't hurt!) Everyone brought their A-game, and with such a fun theme the contestants were able to really let their guards down. There was true sincerity in their dancing that we hadn't seen before. But not all Disney stories end with a "happily ever after," and one couple still had to hang up their dancing shoes.
If there's one week you should watch all the routines of it's undoubtedly this one... But, ICYMI, scroll below for our highlights of the night.
Almost a month out, Puerto Rico continues to suffer the devastating aftereffects of Hurricane Maria. Many of the island's residents still lack power, clean water, and safe housing. Ballet classes? For Puerto Rican dance students, they must feel like an impossible luxury.
But a dance studio in Florida is working to allow a group of young Puerto Ricans to continue their training. And it needs your help.
Yes, I am a dancer, and yes, I am fat.
There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as the reactions I've received when I've told people I dance. They can range from disbelief to confusion to shock. To many people, it's somehow incomprehensible that a plus-size person like myself could grace a stage. While the body-positive movement has been trucking along at full force over the past few years, it hasn't made much progress in the dance community yet. In fact, the words "body positivity" and "dance" are almost never used together in the same sentence.
Despite that fact, dance is what helped me learn to love my larger frame. In honor of National Body Confidence Day, I wanted to talk about my first time in a studio, and about the tremendous progress I've made since.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?