Today in Weird Dance News
Did you know that, until last week, the town of Oakland, CA had a ban on "dance marathons"? Yup. The ban was put in place on November 18, 1930. Apparently it outlawed a craze that reached its peak after the 1929 stock market crash: Strapped for cash and hoping to win the prize money, people would take the marathons to a scary extreme, falling asleep on each other or having "squirrelly" fits after hours of dancing. Yipes.
Anyway, the town council recently voted to drop the law. As the SFGate article notes, in this day of marathons and other endurance sports, the controversy that initially prompted the ban seems a little quaint. (That said, here's hoping no one suffers a dance marathon-induced "squirrelly" episode anytime soon...)
Now you know!
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.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.