Ballerinas

Breaking Pointe's Katie Martin on Taking the Plunge Into Ballerina World

You may know her as the spunky ballerina from Breaking Pointe whose season contract was not renewed. But Katie Martin's energy, resilience and firery passion is exactly what pushes her forward in the ballet world. Katie spoke with dance writer, Rachel Hellwig, for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins to talk life, dance, barre and more!

Photo by: Mike Reid


 

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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New Dance Season: How to Prepare

The air is crisper, and the notebooks and pencils are on sale. You know what this means: Summer is winding down and school is starting up. This also means: IT'S FALL DANCE SEASON! Nutcracker rehearsals will start soon, rehearsals for competitions are in full swing, and together, we are all really excited about moving to new levels and learning more dances and dance information.

Here are our quick and easy ways to prepare for a successful fall dance season!

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Photo: Maria Doval Ballet


 

"Double-Jointed": The Real Story

We have all seen it, and sometimes we envy the beautiful lines a "double jointed" dancer can produce. But what does "double jointed" really mean? Is it really a thing? Today, we investigate "double jointed-ness!"

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The Young Ballerina Life: Robbie Downey's Ballet Babble

Robbie Downey is a 14-year-old ballerina in training. Dedicated to the ballet life, Robbie chronicles her experiences through Ballet Freak, an online community of ballerinas dedicated to learning and discussing the art. Robbie recently competed at the Youth American Grand Prix. Read about her adventures!

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Photo: Robbie Downey; Photo by: dancereportage.com


 

Making Ballet Fun

"Ballet is so... serious."

"Ballet is so boring."

"Ballet moves too slow and the music is old."

"Ballet is too stiff for me."

These are all complaints that we've heard students say about ballet. Opinions of ballet have shifted as time has passed. It was during the post-modern period of dance, which began around 1960, that shifted the thoughts on ballet to more of a "conditioning" aspect of dance as a whole. Ballet was thought of as a way for dancers to stay in shape and become stronger dancers. Even today, it is thought by many that ballet is equated to taking vitamins.

How can we re-frame ballet in today's dance world? How can we rid ballet of the "why so serious?" feel that pushes many dancers away from it? We must teach them the positive aspects of ballet! We must show them how to find beauty, passion, drama and intrigue in ballet! We must show them how "cool" ballet is!

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Photo: Ashley Murphy, Dance Theatre of Harlem


 

Just Because I'm a Ballerina...

Let's get some of these ballerina stereotypes corrected.

Photo:  Katarina Sokolova


 

Pre-Stage Serenity

"all nearness pauses, while a star can grow..." - e.e. cummings

The hours of rehearsal are over. Your body still bruised. But now, there's a stillness.


 

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