Let's Talk About Viktoria Komova
Congratulations to Gabby Douglas! Watching the amazing "flying squirrel" win Olympic gold in the women's all-around gymnastics competition yesterday was an incredible thrill—especially since Gabby, with her megawatt smile, is such an easy person to root for. (Congrats are also in order for teammate Aly Raisman, whose solid performance brought her this close to the bronze.)
But I'd like to pay tribute, for just a moment, to yesterday's silver medalist: Russian phenom Viktoria Komova. Why? Because in ballet terms—and let's be honest, I evaluate everything in ballet terms—she's gorgeous. Her hyper-extended legs, archy feet, and crazy flexibility make everything she does, from the uneven bars to the vault, look beautifully polished. There's also an inherent grace to the way she carries her upper body.
Though Viktoria's obviously had, like most gymnasts, lots of ballet training, looking like a ballerina wasn't exactly her first priority yesterday. (When you have to do a backflip on a 4-inch beam, sometimes grace goes by the wayside.) But her raw physical gifts are just so extraordinary that I want to slap pointe shoes on her and teach her Swan Lake.
For your bunhead pleasure, here are a bunch of photos of Komova at her most balletic. Enjoy!
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Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.