Anonymous said: Do you have to be able to pointe your toes really far or have really good arcs to be able to go on pointe? Or is it more about your strength?

Pointework is largely about strength, but flexibility in the ankle & toes is also important. A “good” arch really doesn’t have much value beyond aesthetics. Pre-pointe training should include lots of relevés & élèves to strengthen the ankle. I would also recommend core work to help with balance. Consult your instructor (as you always should before beginning pointe…) for a specialized preparatory regimen if your school doesn’t offer pre-pointe classes. 

vaganovaboy: Ksenia Zhiganshina backstage for Vaganova Ballet Academy’s annual production of ‘Nutcracker’ at Mariinsky Theatre, 2011

vaganovaboy: Ksenia Zhiganshina backstage for Vaganova Ballet Academy’s annual production of ‘Nutcracker’ at Mariinsky Theatre, 2011


Maria Tallchief (January 24, 1925) – Maria Tallchief is a member of the Osage Indian tribe and was the first Native American woman in ballet. She danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 40s. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1948 and appeared as a guest performer with the American Ballet Theatre in the late 50s. Her sister, Marjorie Tallchief, was the first Native American to become primere danseuse etoile in the Paris Opera Ballet.

(via wisps)

Anonymous said: What stretches do you recommend/do you have any tips for training to do the scorpion?

Honestly, I don’t have any life-changing, revolutionary tips or fancy stretches. Instead, I advocate for daily stretching & training (well, not necessarily taking class everyday, but as often as possible). Do your splits & wall stretch (align your butt to the wall with your back on the floor & let your legs fall open gently) everyday & for ~5 minutes per stretch in concordance with a regular 45-minute ballet barre. In my opinion, this is the best way to achieve flexibility & strength simultaneously & realistically.