Take Care of Your Ballerina Hair

 Pulling your hair into a ballet bun every day puts a lot of stress and tension on your hair and scalp. Hair designer, Corie Crowley, helps us understand how to take care of your hair (and pamper it) after long dance days of sweat, elastic bands and bobby pins.

Nutrition & Flexibility for Dancers Mind, Body, Spirit

Written by: Stacey Nemour

For everyone, but especially for dancers, being healthy and at your appropriate weight - a weight that supports functioning at the highest level - is a form of self-mastery. Some of us master money, relationships, career or some other special skill. Dancers want to master their strength and potential. Mastery turns out to be what we believe we are capable of. Our bodies reflect what we believe about ourselves. In life, we have the greatest gift of all: power of free choice and to be the person we want to be.

Reversing Ballet Combinations

We all dread the same words from our ballet teachers' mouths: "Now reverse!"

But reversing ballet combinations helps our minds and bodies train in a more advanced manner, preparing us for more advanced dancing. Reversing combinations is very similar to putting together a puzzle. It challenges our minds to take each individual piece of the combination, reverse it, while quickly putting them back together. Reversing combinations takes practice, and it can be frustrating for those who are just stepping into this seemingly frantic world. But we are here to help you!

Here is out "How-To" guide to understanding reversing ballet combinations.



Photo: From the series "Espirit de Corps" by photographer Jesús Chapa-Malacara

On Being a Professional Ballerina: Cody Beaton

Cody Beaton, of Round Rock, Texas, studied at the Austin Conservatory of the Arts for 12 years. She attended summer programs at Colorado Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and American Ballet Theatre. She spent one season with the Colorado Ballet Studio Company, and in the next three years, she progressed through Richmond Ballet’s trainee and apprentice programs. She joined the professional company in 2010. Four years later, Cody is still dancing her heart out on stage and living her dream.

But is being a professional ballerina what she thought it would be? What is like to work as a ballerina?

Photo: Cody Beaton in Swipe. Choreography by Val Caniparoli. Richmond Ballet 2012. All rights reserved. Photo by Sarah Ferguson.

Dancers with Food Allergies: What You Should Know

Food allergies are a serious concern, and there are dancers and ballerinas out there with unpredictable reactions to foods. Dance moms and teachers need to be aware of allergies, reactions and what to do in a situation should a dancer begin to react to food.

We spoke with Nancy Giles of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) about how to keep our dancers safe and healthy!

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Photo: Fooducate.com and Blisstree.com

Playing for Ballerinas: The Accompanist

You walk into class and prepare to focus, warm your body, and dance. But dancers often forget that accompanists help train our ear and our bodies with their intricate and ever-changing music which they produce on the spot.

Christopher Hobson, a freelance Ballet Répétiteur, Orchestral Musician and Composer, plays, prepares and sells music for ballet classes around the world. He plays the piano, percussion, violin, saxophone and clarinet. Having grown up with music, Chris transitioned into working with dancers later. Today, he talks with us about the 20 dance classes he plays for a week and the challenges and beauty of merging music and dance.

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Dancing with Scoliosis

Meet Melanie Christine. A 17-year-old dancer from Ohio whose dancing life was drastically changed when she realized her spine was severely curved. Melanie's Scoliosis eventually led to surgery, and when she woke up from surgery her entire spine was fused and she had 2 rods and 30 screws holding her spine into place. She began the long, arduous journey of re-training her body to move.

Today, Melanie serves as an inspiration for other dancers. "I want to devote my life to helping other people because I can relate to what it is like to be pulled down and then have to rise up again," Melanie says.

Even through all of the physical pain of surgery and the emotional pain of being moved to "beginner" level dance classes post-surgery, Melanie believes in one truth without doubt: "If dance is in your heart, you will always find a way."

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Photo from Melanie of her spine pre-surgery

Be a Smart Dancer: 10 Qualities of Smart Dancers

In workshops and at your classes, you often hear, "Be a smart dancer!"

Being a smart dancer will help you, your fellow dancers, the choreographer and the performance piece much stronger. Let's break down what being a smart dancer includes.

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Photo: Greta Hodgkinson gets ready backstage before performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Source: The Ballet Blog Tumblr

Dancing & Surviving in New York City: One Dancer's Journey

27-year-old dancer, Laura De Rubeis was born in Philadelphia, PA. She grew up dancing in Narberth, PA at Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, headed by John White & Margarita de Saa. After years of hard work, she found herself studying Russia. Eventually, Laura felt the pull to New York City, where dance was calling her name.

Today we discuss with Laura the question a lot of dancers wonder about: What is it like dancing and surviving in The Big (expensive) Apple?

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Photo: lauraderubeis.com

Flexibility Expert Shares Important Tips

Flexibility. We all secretly hope we'll wake up one morning and be freakishly flexible. Flexibility expert, Stacey Nemour, is also known as a "miracle worker" when it comes to flexibility. Stacey has worked with people in various fields on how to improve their flexibility that will help them specifically in their field. Stacey created a specific order of stretches, methods and exercises to help the body open up and perform at optimum levels. She sells her flexibility tips on DVDs.

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Photo: Stacey Nemour, www.staceynemour.com Photo by: Tony Donaldson Photo

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