From left: Tina Pereira, Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin Floors; Courtesy Harlequin Floors

For today's versatile dancer, it's not enough to just show up to daily class. Top-notch training includes conditioning, self-care and a home practice with the right training tools. Amp up your home studio (and your dancing) with these three accessories from Harlequin Floors—just in time for holiday gift-giving. (Bonus: They all ship free!)

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Photo by Erin Baiano

Moody lighting streams across a dance studio. As a pop anthem blasts, a supergroup of strong, confident dancers attacks intricate choreography with finesse and poise. But this isn't the latest class video to achieve viral status—it's footage of the world-famous Radio City Rockettes at work.

For almost a century, the Rockettes have been celebrated for their signature style of precision dance, which combines ballet, tap, and classic jazz to awe-inspiring effect. These 80 women (two casts of 36, plus four swings/dance captains) have always been the undisputed stars of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which is seen by over a million fans each year.

But the Rockettes are out to start some new traditions, too. When opening night of the 87th season of the Spectacular arrives later this month, the curtain will rise on one of the most diverse kicklines in Rockette history—including an unprecedented 13 fresh faces. Meet four of them here.

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Cover Story
Francesca Hayward (center) in Cats (courtesy NBCUniversal)

Get excited, Jellicle fans: It's almost time meow!

We're about a month out from the release of the new movie version of Cats. To mark the occasion, the film's team has dropped another dance-filled trailer. The vid offers further peeks at Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography—and at the "digital fur technology"-enhanced versions of the celebrities (dance-world and, uh, world-world) involved, from Taylor Swift to Francesca Hayward.

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Dance Videos
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

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Sponsored by NYCDA
Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet 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!

Dear Katie,

I'm serious about dancing, but I'm also a good academic student. I'm 15 now, and it's getting really hard to balance my intensive dance training with honors classes and the homework that comes with them. I don't want to pick a path just yet—I'm not sure if I want to try to dance professionally, or if I want to go to college, or if I want to do both! Is there a way to balance everything without cutting way back on either dance or schoolwork?

Alex

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Dear Katie
Okay, we might have been crying a little watching James Van Der Beek's foxtrot (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

If you haven't yet watched last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars," we're going to kindly recommend that you grab the tissues before doing so. Because, OH. WOW. We were teary-eyed through the whole darn thing. And we weren't the only ones: The entire ballroom seemed to be on the verge of waterworks, from the stars to the pros to, yes, even the judges.

That's not a huge surprise, really. It was the semi-finals, so naturally tensions were running high. And we only have one more week left with all our incredible stars, which is cause enough for crying. But before we start tearing up again, let's get to some of the incredible dancing we saw last night—of which there was plenty!

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Dance Videos
Darius Hickman and Taylor Sieve in Travis Wall's "It Takes a Lot to Know a Man" (Adam Rose, courtesy FOX)

As an audience member, it's easy to overlook how much work went into the performance onstage—a dancer's job is to make it look effortless, after all. But every pro has tackled a role that made them doubt themselves, whether by testing their stamina, pushing them out of their comfort zones, or touching on their vulnerabilities and insecurities. Here, six dancers share some of their toughest roles, how they made it through, and what they learned.

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Dancer to Dancer
Courtesy Macy's, Inc.

As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?

This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three NYC dance institutions.

Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:

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Dance News
Getty Images

Your first semester as a college dance student can be hectic. But being busy is no reason to put your mental health on hold. In fact, the times when you feel totally overwhelmed by tasks and to-do lists are actually when your mental health is most important.

Luckily, most colleges have tons of on-campus resources for getting help with your mental wellness. Just as you would go to the PT if your ankle were suddenly bothering you, you should seek out counseling resources if you're feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed. DS talked to two college educators about the best ways to use your college counseling resources—and why it's important to do so.

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Pratt + Kreidich Photography, Courtesy Dancers & Dogs

The holiday season is coming our way, and with it good cheer, a giving spirit and, of course, The Nutcracker. Our favorite photography duo, Dancers & Dogs, has found a way to garner that energy for a good cause: pet adoption.

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Just for Fun

Traveling is just par for the course when you're a dancer. But spending hours 35,000 feet in the air on a plane can have serious side effects once you land. Here, we break down the biggest pre- and postflight dos and don'ts to help you feel ready for that first summer intensive class the minute you leave the airport.

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Health & Body
Erin Baiano

In our Dear Katie series, Miami City Ballet 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!

Dear Katie,

I've been trying to improve my front développé, but I just can't get it higher than 90 degrees. I'm plenty flexible, and my side extension is pretty good. What am I doing wrong?

Annika

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Dear Katie
We're all kinds of obsessed with James Van Der Beek's boy band-inspired look. (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" saw our pros and stars performing to music by all of our fave boy bands and girl groups, including the Spice Girls, One Direction, and K-Pop sensation BTS. As a bonus, the judges were joined by "DWTS" alumni and boy band aficionado/veteran Joey Fatone.

As we get closer and closer to the finale (the semi-finals are next week, folks!), the dancing is only getting better. And last night also featured the elimination of one of the most controversial stars in "DWTS" history—talk about drama! In case you missed it, we rounded up the episode's danciest highlights.

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Dance Videos

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