Dear Katie: What Are Good Cross-Training Exercises for Dancers?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
What are good cross-training exercises for dancers? I'm taking lots of dance classes, but I've heard that cross-training can bring your dancing to a different level. I just don't know where to start.
Yes, cross-training is essential for dancers. Dance tends to work some muscles over and over while neglecting others, so supplementing your classes with other workouts will help your body stay balanced.
My number-one recommendation is Pilates. Pilates is brilliant for dancers because it builds long, lean muscles, and strengthens without limiting your flexibility. If you can't afford or don't have time for an in-person Pilates class, try one of the many free Pilates videos on YouTube, most of which don't require any equipment.
Other great workouts for dancers include yoga and Gyrotonic, which, like Pilates, are low-impact and complementary to dance training. Simple, easy-on-the-joints cardio workouts—using an elliptical, swimming, even just walking—will help you develop the stamina you'll need to power through performances. But there's no need to overwhelm yourself. Try one thing at a time, and see what works best for your unique body. Any form of cross-training is better than none!
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: