Refresh and Go
After workin’ up a sweat in rehearsal, the last thing you want to do is hit the town looking like a mess. Follow these pointers so you can kill it in class and still look like a rock star later.—Michael Anne Bailey
How do I fix my...
Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your mane. Spray dry shampoo on your roots and flip your head upside down to create volume while massaging in the product. (We love Batiste dry shampoo!) Smooth greasy bangs by combing them to one side. Secure with a headband. (Good old-fashioned baby powder can be used in place of dry shampoo.)
Remove oil, sweat and makeup smudges with disposable cloths. (We’re fans of Olay Daily Facials Hydrating Cleansing Cloths.) Apply a dry foundation powder to even out blotches, but skip blush if you’re still flushed. Don’t underestimate the power of a bit of mascara and tinted lip balm to bring out your features!
Begin by using baby wipes to give yourself a quick faux shower, removing smelly sweat. Next, apply deodorant and slather on scented body lotion (our fave is Victoria’s Secret Cocoa Butter Sensuous Escape Deep-Nourishing Body Lotion). Bring a change of underwear and a plastic bag for your sweaty clothes.
After a tough rehearsal, your feet are going to be begging for some love. Use a baby wipe to rid them of any lint or dirt you may have picked up from the studio floor. Freshen them up with a foot deodorant powder, cream or spray to get that just-showered feeling. We recommend Crystal Foot Deodorant Spray because it kills odors and helps control athlete’s foot.
Good Posture=More Confidence!
Feel more assertive in the dance studio than in history class? The difference could be in the way you’re carrying yourself. A new study in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that correct posture contributes to personal confidence, whereas poor posture can promote uncertainty and a lower self-image. According to Kay Sandel, artist in residence at Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology at Oklahoma City University, this concept is only natural: When you hold your back upright, it allows the proper amount of blood and oxygen to flow to the brain. This yields both physical and mental benefits. So don’t reserve great posture for technique class. Carry that ballet body proudly from school to dance to the mall, and enjoy your newly confident self!—Ashley Rivers
Here are Sandel’s tips to develop the greatest, straightest posture ever:
Get to know your iliopsoas, one of the muscles that helps you rotate your legs. If this muscle is short, it can cause a swayed back. Doing lunges will help to lengthen these muscles.
Pretend that you’re suspended from a piece of elastic in the clouds. This allows your bones to naturally come into perfect alignment. Don’t forget your “best friends,” your abdominal muscles. They control the alignment between your rib cage and pelvis.
The “rolling like a ball” Pilates exercise (round your back, cradle your knees to your chest and rock using your abs to stabilize you) will lengthen your lower-back muscles, which decreases the likelihood that you’ll hyperextend your back.
The Truth About Almonds
A study done by The Nurses’ Health Study found that people who frequently eat almonds are thinner than people who almost never consume them. Rich in antioxidants and loaded with protein, 20 almonds a day will help keep you full and looking fabulous! Choose raw almonds over the roasted kind to reap the most benefits.—Michael Anne
Did You Know?
According to a recent study, the increase of aches and pains we feel in our backs during the winter months is directly correlated to a lack of vitamin D. Our bodies make vitamin D after exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So in the winter when you spend more time indoors, consider taking a supplement to get at least 10 micrograms of the sunshine vitamin consult your doctor first.) Or eat salmon or drink milk for extra vitamin D.
From top: Photo by Steve Vaccariello; iStock
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.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.
Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!
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.