Beat The After-Christmas Blues
For all those that celebrate, we hope you had a fabulous holiday! Today, some of you may already be headed straight back to Nutcracker madness (we got you), but others might actually have a few days off (woo!). Now that the festivities are over and the excitement is dying down, there's a seemingly-endless (and dance class-less) winter break stretched out ahead of you. Cue, the inevitable #breakboredom.
(We feel you, Emma. SAME.)
But, don't worry! Dance Spirit is here to keep you occupied (and productive) with our list of dancer-approved activities. From endless inspiration from your fave dance celebs to the best ways to reset your body, you'll head back to the studio in 2017 feeling refreshed and motivated.
1. Let yourself relax!
Seriously, dancers work SUPER hard all year—you deserve to lounge around. It's perfectly acceptable to binge-watch dance video after dance video like this. This. And THIS. Make sure to let any nagging sore muscles or injuries get fully rested so they can heal. Try out these restorative yoga and meditation exercises to reset your body or pamper your tired, overworked feet with this simple soak.
2. Do some winter cleaning.
Break is the perfect time to finally clean out, organize and restock your dance bag with all the essentials. Not only does it get a little (A LOT) smelly, but you're probably also lugging around tons of stuff you don't even need. And don't forget your make-up bag! Did you know mascara expires after only 6 weeks? Once you rid yourself of all your old products, check out the ones these pros swear by for their stage-perfect looks.
3. Try out new recipes.
Get a jump on your New Year nutrition plan by discovering a few new, delicious recipes. Experiment with these yummy smoothie combos to find your fave go-to or learn how to bake these healthy homemade energy bars. By the time 2017 rolls around you'll be a pro at making healthy, on-the-go treats to eat before class or rehearsal.
4. Get inspired.
It's super important to let your body rest over break, but it's also important to let your mind rest, too. Let go of any criticism you took too personally last year and relinquish yourself from the pressure to be perfect—we can't grow as artists if our minds are crowded with negativity. Then, take a scroll through our Letter to My Teenage Self archives. It's a magical place where all of our favorite dance celebs (Teddy Forance! Stella Abrera! Michelle Dorrance!) open up and share their best advice, insight and wisdom. You'll hit the studio fully motivated to become the best that you can be.
5. Learn something new.
Did you know that flamenco dancers are known for having insane musicality? Or that belly dance can inspire self confidence and celebrates femininity? Take a trip around the dance world and read our fascinating stories about everything from Irish to West African dance. Or learn about what contemporary dance looks like in other countries (hint: it looks pretty dang awesome).
6. Refine your 2017 #goals.
Feeling newly rested and motivated? Then it's a great time to reevaluate where you're at—and where you want to be next year. Picture what your perfect 2017 dance year looks like, and write down specific ways you can accomplish it. Think about the things you want to improve on, or the gigs you want to book. Planning on making the move to NYC? Read about what these NYC newbies wished someone had told them first. Wanting to take class in LA? Learn all the cool dancer hot spots in our L.A. guide. Or maybe you're just hoping to make the jump from convention attendee to assistant. Whatever your 2017 goals are, we've been there—and have all the tips and tricks that'll help you succeed.
Happy break dancers!
What a week in the "Dancing with the Stars" universe, amirite? After we bid farewell to Drew Scott and Emma Slater on Monday (in a surprise to pretty much nobody, despite the duo's strong performance in a super-fun freestyle that evening), it was time, last night, for Season 25's Grand Finale. And goodness, I don't know if we've ever seen quite so many perfect scores thrown around the ballroom. The final three—Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson, Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold, and Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas—performed a total of six routines on Tuesday, and five of them earned straight 10s. Yes, those scores were well-deserved; the finalists danced their bedazzled behinds off. But it also felt like the judges were channeling Oprah. YOU get a 10, and YOU get a 10, and YOUUUU get a 10!
Turkey is great and all, but the best part of Thanksgiving? It's watching some truly fantastic dancing on television, courtesy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On Thursday, when your arms are sore from mashing potatoes and/or you need to escape crazy Aunt Linda, head to the living room to catch these super-dancey parade highlights:
Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers
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 a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?
Last week, we highlighted the deliberately, hysterically bad @biscuitballerina Instagram account, created by a then-mysterious dancer with a great sense of humor. This week, the artist behind @biscuitballerina—who turns out to be Royal Ballet of Flanders corps member Shelby Williams—got in touch with us to set the record straight about the intentions of those LOL-worthy posts.
Her photos and videos, with their exaggeratedly cringe-worthy technical flaws, are NOT meant to mock amateur dancers. Instead, Williams is actually hoping the account will help all dancers move past their shortcomings and accept themselves and their dancing.
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.