Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

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?

Faith

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Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I dated a guy at my studio for almost a year, and we just broke up. It's terrible. I don't want to go to class, because every time I see him I feel awful. But I also don't want this breakup to affect my training. What should I do?

Jessalynn

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Dancer to Dancer
Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq's "The Ballet Cook Book"

Anyone who follows enough dancers on Instagram knows that we love to cook (and, like all good Insta users, to post pretty pictures of the delicious things we make). But dancer-chefs were a thing long before the internets. And there's no better evidence of that than Balanchine ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq's delightful Ballet Cook Book, which turns 50 years old this year.

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Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I have a really bad habit: I bend my knee when I step up to piqué, especially during piqué turns. I feel like it should be a simple problem to fix, but I can't stop doing it. Help!

A fellow Kathryn

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Watch This
Tiler Peck on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (via YouTube)

There are certain people in the dance universe who can just do no wrong. One of them is Ellen DeGeneres, the ultimate dance fangirl, who regularly features our favorite dancers (including her bestie, tWitch) on her ever-fabulous TV show. Another is Tiler Peck, the insanely versatile New York City Ballet principal who we've never seen give a less-than-jaw-dropping performance, even when she's in tap shoes.

In a way, it was only a matter of time until Peck made her way to DeGeneres' much-danced-upon stage. But when the moment actually came—during last Friday's ep—it was even more epic than we anticipated.

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Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

How do I know if I'm good enough to be a professional dancer? I'm one of the strongest dancers in my class, and my teachers like me. But I live in a pretty small town, so it's hard to tell how realistic my dance dreams are.

Amanda

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Dancer to Dancer

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a good "posing" dancer—I can make pretty lines—but once I start really moving, things fall apart. It's like all the individual pieces of my technique are good, but they don't add up to good dancing. How can I connect the dots?

Amelia

Dear Amelia,

Lucky you! I'm sure many of your classmates wish they had your beautiful lines. But it sounds like you need to build your strength. Good muscle control is what will allow you to maintain those pretty shapes while you're dancing. Start by focusing on your core. A strong core can improve everything else—once it's solid, you won't feel so "wonky." Look into Pilates, which strengthens while creating long, lean muscles.

In terms of your technique, watch the in-between steps. A glissade is just as important as a grand jeté. Those connecting steps are what make a series of poses into a dynamic dance. It's all in the details!


For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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