"Role Model" Barbie Collection Features Ballerinas

Barbie Role Model Misty Copeland and Yuan Yuan Tan

March is Women's History Month, and ICYMI, last Thursday was International Women's Day. To celebrate, Mattel (the creators of the infamous Barbie doll) has released a new collection of dolls they're calling the "Role Model" collection.

On their website, Mattel makes the following statement: "Barbie is committed to shining a light on empowering role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls. 86% of moms surveyed are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to. That's why Barbie continues to showcase examples of inspirational women. From Sheroes to Inspiring Women, meet our latest Barbie role models–all extraordinary women we've honored with a doll in their likeness."

The collection includes Frida Khalo, filmmaker Patty Jenkins, and - to our delight - two dancers! One is Misty Copeland, whose doll actually came out last year. And the second is Yuan Yuan Tan, from San Francisco Ballet. Tan is the first Chinese dancer in a prominent Western ballet company to be promoted to principal dancer status. Tan trained at the selective Shanghai Ballet School, and is considered to be one of the most accomplished Chinese ballerinas of all time. She was called a "Hero of Asia" and featured on the cover of Time magazine in 2004.

We love the fact that dancers have been included in such an incredible group of women. Want to share your role model? Post on your social media using the hashtag #MoreRoleModels.

So That’s a No on the Dancing Then?

In an interesting development in Saudi Arabia, tickets recently went on sale for a pop concert, but the fine print may make you take a second glance…

It’s no secret that Saudi Arabia is extremely conservative, but during the recent sale of Tamer Hosny’s concert tickets (a pop star on the other side of the pond), the regulations were a bit of a shock. It was announced that dancing and swaying would be strictly prohibited at the concert! That’s right, no dancing. And while it's certainly important to respect traditions and all kinds of different cultures, I think I would die if someone told be I couldn't even step touch at a concert. I don’t care if it’s Teletubbies live…as a dancer, I sincerely believe that everyone has gotta be free to move!

But the rules have been made clear, and have many decided to speak out, (naturally) taking to Twitter to express their feelings. While some felt that the rules were absolutely ridiculous, others went so far as to say the concert was an abomination. What are your thoughts, Pluggers?

While you are sharing your opinions, please keep in mind that DancePlug is a safe space where we respect all types of thoughts and experiences. We love discussion, but please be considerate to your fellow dancers and humans!

Barney's + Graham = A Fashionable Virtual Reality

Martha Graham Company and Barney's

You know them for their dresses, their shoes, and of course their irresistible purses...but for dance? Barney's has really taken it to the next level with their newest collaboration with the Martha Graham Company and Samsung. You may want to make your way over to a Barney’s flagship store - not to buy the latest bag, but to see the latest Graham performance.

The iconic fashion company has partnered with Samsung to create a virtual reality experience unlike any other. The Martha Graham Company can be seen through the VR glasses dancing while sporting the latest Barney’s designs. However, it’s not exactly the young hot fashion show you might be thinking of. The performance includes four principal company members, but it also includes eight past company members who range in age all the way up to seventy years old. This is a great example of Martha Graham herself, who danced well into her later years in life.

So what’s the theme? What are you supposed to walk away with? It seems that it’s up to the viewer, who has the rare experience of being an audience of one. The idea is that the performance will make the viewer look into their own self, all while observing the dancers moving through their own journey. It sounds powerful, intriguing, and flat out majestic. Hands up if you’re planning a shopping trip this weekend!

Click here for more info

NYC Theater Introduces “Pay What You Decide”

The Joyce Theatre "Pay What You Decide"

Let’s be real - being a dancer often means that money is tight. It’s not easy to pay for classes, clothes, rent, food...and when you try to throw tickets to shows on top of that - forget it! But this year, one theater is trying something a little different that may be a game changer. Famed NYC venue The Joyce Theater has announced that they will introduce a program called “Pay What You Decide” (or PWYD, for short). For three performances during their 2018 season, audience members will be invited to reserve a maximum of two seats for only $1 each. Then, after the performance, they will be able to pay what they believe is fair. Guests can do this in three ways: 1. Use a provided seatback envelope, 2. Speak with a mobile box office attendant, or 3. Log online within 24 hours and use a credit or debit card. The PWYD method will be available for one performance by each of the following companies: Company Wayne McGregor, Brian Brooks Dance, and Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory. We hope this initiative will help get more people interested in dance performances and open up opportunities for dancers on a budget to get inspired by world-class artists! For full details, visit the Joyce website