Pointe Shoes Are Saving Lives

Cloud & Victory

Once again, the dance world is joining together for a cause. The brand Cloud & Victory has created an initiative called Pointes Against Childhood Slavery, and ALL of the proceeds are going to worthy causes.

Up for grabs are signed pairs of pointe shoes from American Ballet Theatre Principal Isabella Boylston, Boston Ballet Principal Ashley Ellis, English National Ballet First Artist Precious Adams, and The Royal Ballet First Artist Demelza Parish.

However they are selling fast! You’ll want to head on over to their website if you’re interested in buying a pair. The shoes cost anywhere from $100 to $420, and it comes with both shoes signed and used (hopefully the smell is sold separately...). The entire profit will be donated to several humanitarian causes such as Destiny Rescue and the Promiseland Project, which are organizations that help children who are in slavery and are being sexual exploited. They service countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, India, and Nepal.

So if you’re a collector of rare items and you want to support an amazing cause, or you need a special Christmas gift for the ballerina in your life, you should definitely check this opportunity out. Either way, the pointe shoes will be off the market tomorrow, so shimmy on over to their website!

Tiler Peck Packs a Punch on Ellen

Tiler Peck

Earlier this month, Tiler Peck showed off her dancing skills on the Ellen show, and let’s just say it was perfect… she was perfect… so basically it was total perfection. The New York City Ballet Principal performed a short and sweet solo during Ellen’s segment called “What’s So Great About You?” And as it turns out, there’s a lot that’s great about Tiler Peck.

The ballerina has been stealing hearts since she started with NYCB at the age of 15, and she has only become more beloved since then. So what makes Tiler Peck stand out amongst the crowd? She’s a people person, and she makes an effort to connect with her audience on a personal level. For example, her Instagram and Twitter posts are always down to earth and filled with gratitude for the people in her life.

She also tries to keep ballet current and relatable. Her song choice for her performance on Ellen wasn’t a classical concerto; instead she chose to perform to Portugal. The Man's song "Feel It Still,” and it was genius. She was the first ballet dancer to grace the Ellen stage, and she purposefully chose a song that is popular and funky, which helped prove that ballet is not just for the age of the dinosaurs. So thank you Tiler Peck for representing ballet dancers as young, hip, and cool! Who’s in favor of bringing some more youthful vibes to this classical form of dance?  

Out Magazine's "100 Most Influential LGBTQ People" Includes Familiar Faces

Kyle Abraham - Photo credit: Steven Schreiber

Out Magazine is considered to be one of the top US publications for the LGBTQ community. For the past 15 years, it's been creating content highlighting LGBTQ culture, lifestyle, and of course, people.

Last week, they released the OUT100, which recognizes 100 different LGBTQ professionals in different categories, such as Newsmaker of the Year (Chelsea Manning), Artist of the Year (Lena Waithe), and Stylemaker of the Year (Shayne Oliver). Here are the dancers and choreographers being spotlighted this year.

Bill T. Jones
Jones is one of the most recognizable names in modern dance, and has been creating work relating to LGBTQ issues, such as the AIDS crisis, for many years.

Adam Shankman
Shankman is a director and producer known for his work in the musical theater and film realm (he was responsible for the film versions of Rock of Ages and Hairspray). Currently, he's working on Step Up: High Water, for YouTube Red, which features a story circled around a gay black dancer.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
While the magazine wanted to highlight the work the company does in general, it brought special attention to several of its LGBTQ company members, including Michael Francis McBride & Samuel Lee Roberts (who are a couple on the stage and off!), Yannick Lebrun, Vernard J. Gilmore and Daniel Harder.

Kyle Abraham
Dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham (along with his company Abraham in Motion) has been creating a lot of waves over the last few years. Abraham has been the recipient of many awards, and is a dedicated supporter of Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Jonathan Groff
Though he's not technically known as a dancer, we wanted to give this guy a special shout out for nabbing the "Entertainer of the Year" cover story. You may know Jonathan from the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, and for his role as King George II in Hamilton.

Check out more at Out Magazine's website

Photo: Kyle Abraham (credit: Steven Schreiber)

The Debbie Reynolds Studio is Back on Track

Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio

A few months ago, we wrote about the possibility that LA's Debbie Reynolds Studio was going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. (Read our original article here)

Well, today we're bringing you some better news! Thanks to Beats Freaks Teresa Espinoza and Marie Courchinoux (better known as Maryss From Paris), along with Marie's husband Austin Wright, the Debbie Reynolds Studio has been saved and is under new management.

The new owners are reportedly elated with the opportunity to lead the new business team. On social media, they announced that “This blessing has been divinely placed into our hands, and we intend to keep the soul while updating aspects of the studio – for example, free Wi-Fi!” So it sounds like the studio will stay true to its original roots, but will thankfully be entering the 21st century (hallelujah WiFi). Most importantly, they plan to keep the studio's  mission the same by maintaining the space as a safe and comfortable place for the dance community. Not to mention that the rental rates will be as low as $15 an hour for select studios, which is a very affordable option for LA dancers! In an industry where the work is scarce and the rent is high, the Debbie Reynolds Studio is a blessing for choreographers and dancers alike, and that’s truly a thanksgiving gift to be thankful for.  

So how’s the response? So far, so good. It seems most people are just glad that the studio will be continuing and it seems to be in good hands. We hope that the Debbie Reynolds legacy will continue, and dancers everywhere will have a safe haven in LA. We'll see how the transition goes - stay tuned!