Vicky Valet's blog

 If you have one ankle that’s stronger than the other, listen up! According to a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, athletes with uneven ankle strengths are nine times more likely to sprain an ankle, especially when landing from jumps. When the muscles surrounding your ankle don't have the same amount of strength in each foot, the impact of the jump doesn't get absorbed evenly, which can result in stretched or torn ligaments. Try some of these exercises to even yourself out:

 

When auditioning in person is just not possible, sending out a reel is your next best option. But make sure your video stands out for the right reasons. 

 

1. Pay special attention to what a school or company asks for. If the directions tell you to show a barre and center, don’t give a solo. Show you can listen; nobody wants an unruly dancer.

 

We’ve always been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But new research from the University of Iowa shows that the benefits of apples go far beyond good annual check-ups. It turns out that apple peels are bursting with ursolic acid, a weight loss substance that promotes muscle growth. Between the fat burning and muscle building, this fruit makes the perfect post-rehearsal snack—just don’t cut off the skin.

In ballet, there's an eight-letter word so powerful it makes even the most experienced dancers quake. (No, I’m not talking about fouettes!) Audition—it’s a loaded word that brings to mind numerical identities, a whispering panel and hundreds of other bunheads who all seem to have better feet and 180-degree turnout. Last night's episode of "Bunheads" showed that, although many dancers define an audition’s success by whether they get accepted, those who can see the whole picture know that getting in isn’t everything.

 

Heads up Californian bunheads: the Anaheim International Dance Festival is coming back this summer. From August 10-12, dancers ages 10-22 are invited take workshops with renowned master teachers such as Miami City Ballet founder Edward Villella, former New York City Ballet principal Darci Kistler and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearsal director Matthew Rushing.

Lots of dancers like to ice sore muscles before heading into the studio, thinking that they’re doing themselves a favor. But they’re doing the exact opposite! A recent study at the University of Ulster and the University of Limerick showed that icing actually reduces muscle strength, bodily awareness and agility for 15 to 20 minutes afterwards. This is because the cold temperature slows nerve impulses, which prevents muscles and tendons from working together. The study also found that icing right before class or rehearsal could make a dancer more likely to get injured.

Most of this week’s Bunheads episode was spent following widow Michelle around town and wondering whether or not Fanny was serious about those Dalai Lama cocktail napkins for Hubbell’s memorial. But the show still managed to squeeze in some favorite ballet themes before the proverbial curtain came down.

 

If you dream of exploring your voice as a choreographer, you might want to check out Boston Ballet’s Choreographic Intensive. The program, which runs July 30-August 4, gives advanced dancers ages 18-24 a chance to translate their ideas into movement with Helen Pickett and Jorma Elo as their guides. (Check out former student Leah Hirsch’s guest blog about the intensive during its inaugural year).

Everybody wants a piece of Alexei Ratmansky these days. Even Magnolia Bakery. In honor of the New York premiere of Firebird, his latest ballet for American Ballet Theatre, Magnolia is whipping up special Firebird Cupcakes. Vibrant orange date cake is frosted with orange meringue buttercream to match the ballet's strikingly vivid costumes and sets. Firebird is currently at Lincoln Center for a run from June 11–13, and will return June 21–23.