#4: Pointe shoes are simultaneously the best and the worst things in the world. (Photo by Nathan Sayers)

10 Struggles Only Bunheads Will Understand

Ballet is so beautiful...and SO STUPID HARD. Are you an aspiring ballerina? Here are 10 struggles you probably deal with every single day.

There Are Never Enough Bobby Pins

When you're wearing buns 24/7, it seems like no matter how many bobby pins you buy, they disappear almost instantly. (Seriously, though: Where do they all go?)

Related: Our Heads Always Hurt

Bobby-pin headaches are no joke.

"Nutcracker" Pretty Much Ruins the Holidays

While all of our friends are out ice skating and sipping hot chocolate and shopping for gifts, we're swamped with Nutcracker rehearsals and performances. Bah humbug.

Pointe Shoes Are Simultaneously the Best and Worst Things in the World

They're so beautiful. They hurt us SO MUCH.

Flip Flops Are a No-No

Exposing your blistered, bruised, pointe-shoe-battered feet to the world (and the possibility of infection)? No thank you.

And Forget About Heels

Yeah, those 5-inch stilettos are gorgeous, but tbh? Our feet are so sore after class, it's all we can do to put on old-lady sneakers.

Tight Holes and Runs Are the Actual Worst

Why is it that a brand-new pair of tights is pretty much guaranteed to rip within five minutes?

We Will Basically Be Sewing Pointe Shoes Every Minute Until the Day We Die

So. Much. Dental. Floss.

Turnout Isn't a Choice. It's a Way of Life.

What's that? We were standing turned-out while in line at Starbucks? Sorry—that's just our natural state of being.

We've Gotta Be Tougher Than Nails

Don't let the tutus fool you: we're tough, people. Over time, our #balletstruggles have helped us build up enough confidence and endurance to tackle pretty much anything.

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All photos by Jayme Thornton. Wardrobe styling throughout by Chloë Chadá Van for The QUIRK Group.

Lizzo's Leading Ladies: Meet the Big Grrrls

Rising pop superstar Lizzo is changing the game in all kinds of ways. (A singer who also raps and plays the flute? You'd better believe it.) But she's become an especially important leader in the body-positivity revolution. And that emphasis on diversity and self-love extends to her fabulous group of backup dancers, known as The Big Grrrls.

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Because there's never been a better time to get your TikTok on. (Getty Images/TikTok)

7 of the Best TikTok Dance Challenges to Learn While Stuck at Home

Right now, a lot of us are social-distancing. Which is a good thing for the community. But for dancers, being at home—read: not in the studio—can be especially tough.

Enter TikTok. The app is blowing up right now, with everyone from Hailey Bieber to LeBron James to former Bachelorette (and "Dancing with the Stars" champ) Hannah Brown making accounts to stave off the stir-craziness.

To get you started on your TikTok journey, Dance Spirit rounded up seven of the best dances for you to learn. And when you're ready to share the fruits of your TikTok labors, be sure to tag us @dancespiritmagazine—we'll repost some of our faves!

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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