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

All the Gift-Worthy Training Accessories You Need This Winter

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!)

Harlequin Turning Board

Harlequin Turning Board

Courtesy Harlequin Floors

Whether you're a natural turner or still trying to perfect that triple, spending extra time on your turns at home can only make them cleaner, faster and easier. Harlequin's Turning Board works for ballet, jazz, modern and even tap: With Harlequin's reversible marley on one side and a wood surface on the other, no type of dance shoe is off-limits. Measuring at 36″H x 31 3/8″W x 3/4″D with a small cutout for easy carrying, the plywood panel is light and portable so that you can take it with you to competitions or conventions.

Harlequin Practice Mat

Harlequin Practice Mat & Bag

Courtesy Harlequin Floors

With precision footwork—especially in pointe shoes—having proper flooring is crucial. One small slip on your slick dining room floor could spell disaster. With a Harlequin Practice Mat, you can work on your pique turns, échappés and entrechat quatres with peace of mind. Made with Harlequin Cascade—the floor of choice for American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet and New York City Ballet—the 40"x 40" practice mat can be put down on any hard surface for optimal training. Choose from black or gray and enjoy a stylish carry bag for maximum portability.

Harlequin Freestanding Ballet Barres

Harlequin Freestanding Ballet Barre

Tina Pereira

Stark Photo Productions; Courtesy Harlequin Floors

Ballet training begins at the barre. And what better place to start than in your own home? Harlequin's Freestanding Ballet Barre is light and portable with adjustable feet for easy raising and lowering. With two choices of material (aluminum or maple) and two lengths (52" or 72"), you can easily find a barre that matches the size and look of your home dance space. Each freestanding barre contains two horizontal barres of different heights to make stretching out at the end of a long dance day a breeze.

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Courtesy Hollywood Vibe

These Dance Comps and Conventions Are Coming to a Living Room Near You

While dancers all over the world are sharing the heartache of canceled classes, shows, and projects, our hearts hurt especially hard for a group of dancers we at Dance Spirit couldn't admire more: comp and convention kids. Determined to challenge your artistry and learn from cutting-edge faculty, you dancers normally brave crowded ballrooms and nonstop schedules all year long. But just because you might not be in one of those crowded ballrooms for a while doesn't mean that part of your dance life has to grind to a halt.

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Troy Ogilvie, who teaches dance improvisation classes in NYC (Franziska Strauss, courtesy Ogilvie)

Stay Creative with These 5 Improv Exercises You Can Do at Home

If social distancing has you feeling unusually restless right now (cabin fever is REAL), a good improvisation session could be the dance remedy you need. Improv, which is the simultaneous creation and performance of movement without any preparation, doesn't require a dance studio or stage. In fact, sometimes working in an unconventional space—like your own home—can prompt even more interesting movement. And when done right, improvising is seriously liberating.

"Improvisation can be uniquely healing if you give yourself time to listen to your body without judgement," says Troy Ogilvie, who teaches improvisation classes at renowned institutions like SpringboardX and Peridance in New York City. "It allows us to interact with our surroundings and emotions more directly."

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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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