10 Tips For Better Grand Allegro
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.
Getting ready for grand allegro should begin at the barre. "Pay attention when performing quick tendus, battement jetés, and grand battements, because all those exercises prepare you for grand allegro," Hart says.
Plié, Plié, Plié
This goes without saying, but your plié is so important. "A plié must rebound," Hart says. "If it dies at the bottom, it kills the jump."
Use Your Toes
"Don't forget to engage the whole foot, including toes," Hart says. "There are a lot of small muscles on the bottom of the feet that can facilitate jumps."
Keep Your Chin
Raising your chin and eyes will help keep you airborne mid-jump. "Don't look down, because that pulls you down," Hart says.
Control Your Arms
"Make sure to coordinate your arms with your legs," Hart says. "If you initiate a jump with the arms, the whole body will be in balance. Then, when landing, let the arms float just slightly after the legs," to create the illusion of more ballon.
Engage Your Back
Your back can help you build momentum into a jump. "Use your back to propel you forward," Hart says.
To improve the height of your jumps, "syncopate the transitional steps," Hart says. "For example, the précipité before a big jump should be quick so that the plié and push off are energized," which will give you more air time.
It's Not All About the Legs
Because grand allegro involves many jumps, you may be tempted to focus all your attention on your legs. But the whole body needs to be activated. "Don't do a jump solely with the legs!" Hart explains. "Using the core helps elevation. My old teacher used to talk about imagining yourself in a baby jumper, thinking of your core lifting you into the air."
Just Add Energy
Obviously, energy is a grand allegro essential. "Slow legs won't get you off the floor," Hart says.
Use Your Imagination
If you can picture it, you can slay it! "Sometimes just imagining yourself hovering in the air can help a jump," Hart says.
Get in, losers. We're going to Broadway.
OK, not losers, actually—more like the bajillion die-hard fans of Tina Fey's 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, who've been wearing pink every Wednesday since a musical adaptation of the film was first teased back in 2013.
Now their world is like a cake filled with rainbows and smiles, because Mean Girls the musical, which had a trial run in Washington, DC, last fall, is set to open at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre April 8. And in a very grool twist, it turns out the show—with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw and a book by Fey herself—is delightfully dancey.
Principal Lloyd Knight has become a true standout in the Martha Graham Dance Company thanks to his compelling presence and dynamic technique. Knight, who performs leading roles in iconic pieces like Appalachian Spring and Embattled Garden, was born in England and raised in Miami, where he trained at the Miami Conservatory and later graduated from New World School of the Arts. He received scholarships to The Ailey School and The Dance Theatre of Harlem School in NYC and joined MGDC in 2005. Catch him onstage with MGDC during its New York City Center season this month. —Courtney Bowers
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
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These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
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I'm a hip-hop and jazz dancer, and I want to get involved in the commercial-dance world. I've never studied ballet, but people keep telling me I "have to" take ballet classes if I want to make it professionally. Is that really true? My family has limited money for dance classes, and I have to be careful about how I spend it.
Everyone loves a good viral video, especially when there's dancing involved. And though many viral videos are contrived and created for the soul purpose of instafame, the story behind the latest video catching the eyes of millions—including Rihanna, super model Naomi Campbell, and Diddy—is even more unique because it features children who don't even know who those celebrities are.
A dance troupe in Nigeria has become the next internet sensation, thanks to their exuberant dancing and passion with which they perform. Their enthusiasm for dance is evident in every step and it's hard not to smile as you see these children (who range from ages 6 to 15) express pure joy in something as simple as dance. These nine kids are part of The Dream Catchers, an organization started by 26-year-old Seyi Oluyole, that gives impoverished children a place to live while teaching them how to dance.
For 16-year-old Amanda*, dance is everything: her passion, her escape from the daily grind, and her career goal. Her parents see things differently. "I have siblings who are active in sports," Amanda says, "and my parents would rather I play soccer or basketball. They don't see dance as something I can earn a stable living from in the future. They often tell me I should just quit."
Some parents aren't able to, don't know how to, or choose not to give you the kind of support you need to thrive in the studio. And when your parents are adding stress to your life, rather than alleviating it, there's a lot at stake. "Dancers who don't have the support of their parents might struggle with self-doubt," says Dr. Linda Hamilton, a former dancer with New York City Ballet and a clinical psychologist specializing in the performing arts, "while those whose parents are too involved can crack under the pressure." Whether your parents aren't there when you need them or they're always there, practically smothering you, try these tips to improve your situation.
On Friday night, the iconic RuPaul made history as the first drag queen ever to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And it didn't take long for the world's most fabulous RuPaul fan/one of our favorite human beings, Mark Kanemura, to commemorate his idol's accomplishment with—naturally—a WALK to end all walks.