Via Instagram

Every ballerina's pointe shoe process is intense, but some dancers take pointe prep to a completely different level. And New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck definitely falls in that second category.

The New York Times recently did a Facebook Live event with Peck, following her as she chose and prepped her shoes for the evening's performance. (She was about to dance in Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition.) Peck is a crazy perfectionist onstage—it's one of the qualities that makes her so compelling—and she's just as much of a crazy perfectionist about her shoes.

Keep reading... Show less

Ah, pointe shoes: They are our forever frenemies. Much as we're obsessed with them, even the most serious bunheads can have difficulty figuring them out.

That's where The School at Steps' Pointe Shoe Workshop and Fair comes in. Part advice panel, part shoe sale, the annual event brings together experts from all corners of the ballet world, as well as representatives from major pointe shoe brands. Whether you're just about to start pointe or are trying to find the perfect pair before your upcoming company audition, you can get a lot out of this shindig.

Keep reading... Show less

Dancers (including director Damian Woetzel, right) rocking out at the Vail International Dance Festival. Photo by Caitie Kakigi.

National Dance Day is this Saturday, July 27—and the town of Vail, Colorado, home of the awesome Vail International Dance Festival, is celebrating in style with a three-hour dance-a-thon fundraiser. (It'll benefit four dance-y organizations, including the Festival.)

While anyone and everyone is invited to participate, the event boasts some serious dancelebrities, too. There'll be performances by Vail IDF artists Tiler Peck, Robert Fairchild and Lil Buck, and internet sensation Matt Harding (from the great/hilarious "Where the Hell is Matt?" series) will be filming for his next video during the event. Not sure your moves are up to par? Lessons in everything from hip hop to line dancing will also be given throughout the day.

The dance-a-thon will run from 4-7 pm at the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. But non-Coloradans can get in on the National Dance Day fun, too! Click here to learn the official NDD routines, and visit the NDD Facebook page to find dance-y events happening near you.

Every year, Vail International Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado plays host to some of our all-time favorite dancers and choreographers. The rep is always incredible, as is the location—the picturesque mountains, flowers and fields of Vail are a stunning backdrop for this event. This year was no exception, with plenty of new premieres (seven, to be exact) and lots of familiar faces. We've rounded up the best Instagram videos from the festival, so if you didn't make it out to Colorado, you can still witness the #awesomeness of these dancers.

Tiler Peck and James Whiteside in Duo Concertant

Isabella Boylston and Joseph Gordon in Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux

BalletX, Isabella Boylston and Zachary Catazaro killing it in Show Me, a new work by Matthew Neenan

Joseph Gordon's casual skills #whatever

More behind the scenes of Show Me

Silas Riener and Rashaun Mitchell rehearse for a stunning new premiere

 

(Videos via Vail International Dance Festival's Instagram and Nel Shelby's Instagram)

Every July, New York City Ballet heads to Saratoga Springs, NY for their annual residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and every July, us members of the dance world watch in envy as NYCB company members' Saratoga photos start filling our Instagram feeds.

Sara Mearns rehearsing onstage at SPAC (Photo by Kyle Froman Photography)

They've got it all: Lake days! Home-cooked meals! Hikes through gorgeous meadows! Dancing their incredible rep on a giant, outdoor stage! And best of all, engagements! (Congrats to Chase and Lauren!!!!)

 

Here are some of our favorite moments thus far:

 

#nofilter #saratogalake #daysoff #summertimevibes @justin_peck

A photo posted by @madeeks on

Annual Saratoga tradition (!) #BoSsam

A photo posted by Justin Peck (@justin_peck) on

Regram @reidbartelme | summertime living

A photo posted by Gretchen Smith (@gretchen.h.smith) on

Farm life 2 with @rustlegj

A photo posted by Reid Bartelme (@reidbartelme) on

 

(Via Marika Anderson's Instagram, Justin Peck's Instagram, Tiler Peck's Instagram, Gretchen Smith's Instagram, Reid Bartelme's Instagram and Ashley Bouder's Instagram)

I'm also thankful for dancing turkeys. Thank you, dancing turkeys, for dancing. And being turkeys.

What are you thankful for this year? Finally hitting that 6 o'clock penchée? Being cast in your dream Nutcracker role? Getting your first pair of pointe shoes?

Here at Dance Spirit, we have a Thanksgiving tradition: Each year, everyone on staff expresses appreciation for the dance-y things that make our world a little brighter. And since being a member of the DS team comes with pretty amazing dance-related perks, we always have a lot to be thankful for. Here's what everyone had to say this time around.

"I'm thankful for the many web series about dance, like AOL On's 'city.ballet.,' Teen Vogue's 'Strictly Ballet' and Dance Spirit's own 'Road to Nationals.' Whenever I need a break at the office, I can grab my headphones, sit back and watch an inspiring episode—and it still looks like I'm doing work!" —Jenny Dalzell, managing editor

"I'm thankful to get to interview some of the youngest dancers featured in DS for our 'You Should Know' column. I'm constantly inspired by their passion, optimism, humility and gratitude—not to mention their insane talent!" —Maggie McNamara, assistant editor

"I'm thankful to be surrounded by amazingly gifted dancers. I always have inspiration to work harder." —Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone, assistant editor

"I'm thankful for artists like Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck and Wendy Whelan, who show dancers everywhere that there are so many options beyond a traditional stage performance career." —Meggie Hermanson, fashion editor

As for me? I'm thankful to be living in NYC, a city with more dancers per square foot than anywhere else in the universe. Every single day, I have opportunities to experience these artists' energy and passion—onstage, in the studio, at DS photo shoots, on the subway (it happens!). I love you, NYC—almost enough to make me forget how much rent I'm paying.

Happy Turkey Day!

When I was maybe 10, a museum near my hometown exhibited a bronze cast of Edgar Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen sculpture. I went to visit her, and quickly discovered that my first impulse—to imitate her iconic fourth-position pose—was shared by dozens of other baby ballerinas. There was a whole crowd of us gathered around the statue, hanging out in fourth, snapping photos. It was almost instinctual.

Susan Stroman's brand-new musical, Little Dancer, which tells the story of the girl who inspired the statue, opens on Saturday at the Kennedy Center. In tribute, the original Little Dancer sculpture is currently on exhibit at D.C.'s National Gallery of Art. And last week, the cast of the musical—which includes New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck and our friends Juliet Doherty and Sophia Anne Caruso—went to pay their respects to Degas' masterpiece.

Naturally, they all immediately assumed fourth position. Looks like that instinct never dies.

(All photos by Margot Schulman)

The musical's cast. Peck is adorable in her pink tutu—but did your eye go right to Juliet (third from right) and her gorgeous turnout, like mine did?

The whole company. So many Little Dancer doppelgängers!

The musical's stars and creative team (from left): Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Susan Stroman, Tiler Peck and Boyd Gaines. Even non-dancers end up hitting some version of fourth position!

Merde (or in musical theater terms, break a leg) to the Little Dancer cast! For tickets and more info about the show, click here. Can't make it to D.C.? You can still get an insider's look at the show, via our interview with Peck about what happens when statues come to life.

In our October issue, we talked to New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck about her musical theater turn in the brand-new show Little Dancer. Inspired by Degas' famous sculpture and directed and choreographed by Broadway guru Susan Stroman, the musical is set to open at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center later this month.

Little Dancer was custom-tailored to Peck, and naturally she'll be bringing all her ballerina amazingness to the part—including her experiences dancing famous ballets. "It's just like doing Romeo and Juliet," she said to us of playing the young Paris Opéra Ballet student Marie von Goethem, who inspired Degas' Little Dancer Aged 14 sculpture. "No one who plays Juliet is actually her age. The key is your mannerisms and the way you hold yourself." Given that Peck also has serious musical theater cred—she made her Broadway debut at age 11 (!) in Stroman's production of The Music Man—we're guessing she'll be pretty darn convincing.

Also, she kind of looks just like the statue! Eerie.
(Both photos courtesy The Kennedy Center. Left: Matthew Karas; right: Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881), yellow wax, hair, ribbon, linen bodice, satin shoes, muslin tutu, wood base, National Gallery of Art, Washington, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon)

Wondering what all of that dance-drama goodness will actually look like? This Sunday night, the Guggenheim Museum will be offering a sneak peek when its Works & Process series goes inside Little Dancer. The event will include a bunch of excerpts from the show (Peck will be dancing, of course!) and a discussion with Stroman, Lynn Ahrens (who wrote the musical's book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (the composer). And the whole thing will be live-streamed at guggenheim.org/live, starting at 7:30 pm EST.

Little Dancer in your living room—not a bad way to end the weekend, amirite? While you're waiting for Sunday night to roll around, take a look at this behind-the-scenes video from Peck's official Little Dancer photo shoot:

Sponsored

Want to Be on Our Cover?

covermodelsearch-image

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored