Tag Archives: the Nutcracker

Holiday Ballet Bloopers

Ballet dancers are supposed to be perfect all the time, but the problem is we’re human…slip-ups happen from time to time. No one wants to admit they slid across stage, fell on their butt or smacked a fellow dancer in the face. So embarrassing! But every dancer has at least one of these stories to share (read about mine HERE). I hope you enjoy this collection of holiday ballet bloopers.

Nutcracker epic fail:

Epic fails complete with sound effects:

And finally…vintage bloopers!

What these clips show us is that even if the worst case happens and you fall on your butt, you get up and keep going. Wasn’t it amazing to see how quickly each of these dancers recovered? So inspiring! It gives new meaning to the phrase “keep calm and carry on.”



How to Move Past Failure

How to Make a Ballerina

Real Life Love at the Ballet

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle…. these are some of the most romantic ballets in history. This is the stuff of love come to life on stage in a sweeping pas de deux, full of grand gestures, of love lost or found. While the dancers who put their hearts and souls into these roles might look like the perfect couple onstage, those sentiments are over once the curtain goes down…

Or are they?

Lately there has been an epidemic of real-life love stories at the ballet. On-stage engagements, incredible weddings, it’s all happening. In honor of Valentine’s Day here is a snapshot of some of our favorites:

The marriage of San Francisco Ballet principal dancers Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan has been coined the “royal wedding” for many reasons. Karapetyan proposed on stage when the couple took their curtain call after performing “Romeo and Juliet”. Does it get more romantic than that? On their wedding day the bride wore a cream colored strapless gown by Lazarro studded with delicate appliquéd rosettes and crystals. The couple danced a passionate Tango they choreographed themselves to the Pussycat Dolls’ recording of  ’Sway’.

New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild are a couple onstage and off, engaged to be married since Fairchild dropped to his knee at Sacré-Coeur, in Paris, last spring. You may have seen them at Lincoln Center or on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars… either way, they have no boundaries to what they can accomplish, and being being dubbed as the dancers of today.

Pittsburgh Ballet’s ballet mistress Marianna Tcherkasky is married to Artistic Director Terrence Orr. Tcherkasy says dance is such an intimate profession and requires great commitment, sacrifices and dedication, she says, that it is valuable to be with someone who understands that, as well. The intimate nature of ballet work can reinforce offstage feelings, says Christopher Budzynski, who’s married to Alexandra Kochis. They’re both principal dancers with the ballet and often play opposite each other in the leading roles of “The Nutcracker.”

Jenna Lavin-Crabtree describes falling in love while working with her soon-to-be-husband: “My husband (Cornel Crabtree) and I fell in love while doing freelance work here in NYC with a small pickup company who had hired Staton Welch ( now the director of Houston Ballet ) to choreograph a new ballet. Cornel and I were partnered together and Staton was/is incredibly talented and having that ballet created on us was really a magical experience. Every one of the performances was a journey for us and really I think some of my most enjoyable *moments* on stage were spent happily in my soon to be husband’s arms!”

Still not satisfied? Read more about love behind the scenes at the ballet….

More about the San Francisco Ballet royal ballet wedding that tops them all here.

Read Dance Magazine’s story about three married ballet couples here.

A guide to marrying a ballerina from 28 Sherman here.

Josh Charles must have read 28 Sherman’s guide because he married dancer Sophie Flack. Read how here.

For those who would prefer to just date a dancer, Tights and Tiaras tells you how here.

Pointe Magazine’s story on four ballerinas married to normal folk here.



10 Reasons to Study Ballet at Any Age

© Grier Cooper













Every holiday season, after seeing the Nutcracker, millions of little girls go to sleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads… Sugarplum fairies, that is. But five-year-olds haven’t cornered the market on the desire to learn ballet; the truth is that there are just as many businesswomen and mothers with the same dream. It’s never too late (or too early) to follow your heart, slither into a leotard and tights and join in a ballet class, and the benefits are huge. For instance:

1. Discipline. There is something to be said for the fine art of mental control. While the lack of it is usually glaringly apparent in five-year-olds, it lurks in the deep recesses of the minds of most adults, too. We’ve just gotten better about camouflaging it. Mind over matter is a huge skill that can be applied in every facet of life for the remainder of one’s lifetime.

2. Grace, strength and control. It’s easy to identify a ballerina in a crowd, and this trio of benefits is a good part of the reason why. Dancers move differently than the rest of their human counterparts, because they have spent a great deal of time and energy cultivating grace, strength and control. Precision of movement is one of the most fundamental requirements of ballet, and the good news is that it’s transferable to other athletic endeavors. That is why many football players, gymnasts and other athletes also spend time at the ballet barre.

3. Flexibility. More flexibility means greater range of movement and less potential for injury. Who wouldn’t want those two things? Ready to sign up yet?

4. Great exercise. Let’s face it, bodies were made to move, as often as possible, every day. Why else would we have all these moving parts? Since exercise is absolutely necessary for health and longevity, we may as well pick an activity we enjoy. This will probably sound like a biased statement, but dance is a whole lot more fun than the gym. Or consider this simple equation: Joy of movement= laying the groundwork for a life time of good exercise habits.

5. Better posture. One of the first things you will learn in ballet class is how to stand up straight. Where else will you learn this if not in ballet class? And to reiterate an earlier point, this is another one of the reasons why it is so easy to identify ballerinas in a crowd.

6. Outlet for personal expression. For some of us, it’s hitting a pillow. For others, it’s yelling from a mountaintop or scribbling away in a journal. But it can’t hurt to add another option to your list.

7. Listening and memory skills. There’s an awful lot of stuff to learn during the course of a ballet class, not to mention the fact that the terminology is all in French. The only way to stay ahead of the game is to pay very close attention to what is being said and demonstrated, and then do your earthly best to remember when to do what. This is fantastic for keeping your brain lively.

8. Body awareness. You’re probably aware enough of some parts you would like to change, erase or give away. That’s not the type of body awareness that’s being addressed. Instead, you will grow awareness of how to move all the different parts of the body, and what is attached to what. And hey, your balance will improve. Dramatically.

9. Spatial awareness. Ballet classes begin at the barre but end in the center of the room, with lots of jumping and twirling. Not only will you learn to move in desired ways in the desired direction, you will also learn how to do all this without crashing into anyone else. Works really well in crowds.

10. Fun. This one pretty much goes without saying, but is one of the very best possible reason to sign up for ballet, which is why it was saved it for last. Who couldn’t use a little more fun in their life?

Whether you are five or fifty-five, you can enjoy the benefits of ballet class. How many other hobbies can boast fitness, posture, balance and fun? It’s never too late (or too early) to pursue the dream of dance.