Psyched for Sochi: This Former Ballerina is Ready to Take the Plunge

I am obsessed with the Olympics. It's actually kind of bizarre--to the point where I tear up whenever I hear the Olympic Fanfare and Theme.

So naturally, I'm stoked for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia (only 115 days left! Not that I'm counting...). And when I came across this news report on a new Olympic athlete who credits her ballet training with prepping her for the games, I freaked out a little bit.

I usually schedule my Olympic viewing around gymnastics in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Oh, and diving...I like diving, too! So basically anything that involves pretty lines. But this year, I may just have to save some room on my DVR to record skeleton racing, a sport in which racers plunge face first down an ice track. Yikes.

Canadian athlete Sarah Reid will be competing in Olympic skeleton racing for the first time in 2014. And in an interview with CBC Sports, Reid talked about how her 10 years of ballet training helped her become an Olympic athlete.

I don't know about you, but I'll be looking out for Reid this winter, even though my only knowledge of skeleton comes from Wikipedia and the 1993 film Cool Runnings, which is actually about bobsledding, not skeleton. Apparently, I've got some research to do before February 7th.

Also, if you haven't seen Cool Runnings, you totally should. This clips says it all.

Latest Posts


Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

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 a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?

Meghan

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search