Since the ‘Top 9’ Instagram collages were introduced, they’ve become a standard tool to reflect upon the year. We’ve included a snapshot of our most attention grabbing Instagram photos below; but this ‘ Top 9’ remix revisits your nine favorite articles from 2019. These are our three most popular show reviews, dance class reviews and dance features based on site traffic.

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Dance Shows

1. Sergei Polunin Mixed Bill at London Palladium

As you can see above, Sergei Polunin features heavily in our ‘Top 9’ Instagram collage – and plenty of ballet aficionados looked up our review of his triple bill at the London Palladium. Other dance critics gave the production either one or two stars, but we suspect the majority aren’t huge fans of modern dance. See why we gave Polunin’s mixed programme four stars.

Sergei Polunin soars in 'Fraudulent Smile'
Photo credit: Alexey Kerkis

2. Lindo Folklore Show in Dubrovnik

European folk dance may not receive as much time in the spotlight as other dance genres, but our audience has certainly been interested in learning more about the Lindo Folklore Ensemble in Dubrovnik! The performance includes both regional songs and dances from Croatia, and we honestly had no idea whether we’d enjoy it or not. But the cultural show was very pleasant, and we highly recommend it.

Lindo Folk Dancers in Dubrovnik

3. Akram Khan’s Giselle at Sadler’s Wells

Akram Khan’s Giselle on the English National Ballet enjoyed its second run in 2019. After its premiere in Manchester during 2016, the production toured the UK. In 2018, it was shown in cinemas and broadcast on TV in countries around the world. There’s something about the piece that seems to resonate with a wide audience. We weren’t immune to its poignant beauty, either, and awarded it five stars.

See our list of the best 19 dance shows from 2019.

Photo credit: Laurent Liotardo

Dance Classes

1. Online Ballet Barre Classes

Although we test out a good deal of dance classes in London, our most popular class article is about taking ballet barre classes online. We list a few different YouTube videos that give viewers a nice ballet warm up. Anyone with an Internet connection can follow along from the comfort of his or her own home. You just need to set some time aside – and try not to kick any of the surrounding furniture!

Ballerina holds onto railing

2. Everybody Ballet Class in London

Everybody Ballet classes warmly welcome adult beginners to learn the ballet basics. The instructors have incredible credentials, but the environment is very relaxed, so newbies don’t need to stress about a competitive atmosphere or catty classmates. As a bonus, you can wear any athletic gear in class; so you don’t need to purchase ballet-specific attire – except for ballet slippers. They also offer intermediate classes for slightly more advanced dancers.

Everybody Ballet class students at Royal Opera House

3. Dancehall Class in London

London weather can be dreary, but you’ll definitely warm up when you take a Jamaican dancehall class with Natty NCDT in London. After a warm up, you’ll learn a variety of steps that will work out your entire body – and possibly test your coordination. The steps are broken down into 8-count or 16-count phrases and drilled, so you don’t need to have a great memory for choreography to participate.

If you’re a dance instructor, check out every benefit included in our dance class features or read additional ways you can work with us.

Dance & Lifestyle Features

1. Interview with El Genée 2019 Winners

We are so blown away by the talent of young dancers, and it was an honour to interview the Genée 2019 winners: Mia Zanardo, Darrion Sellman, Julian Wen-Sheng Gan and Paloma Hendry-Hodsdon. They tell us about their experience at the competition in Toronto, share a few tips and thank their most ardent supporters. We plan to interview the winners of 2020, too, when the prestigious Genée returns to London to coincide with the Royal Academy of Dance’s 100th anniversary. (It will be renamed the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition.)

Our dance interviews provide insight from dance industry professionals: artists and choreographers, educators and more.

Photo credit: Michael Slobodian

2. Termas de Cajón del Maipo

While the main focus of Dance Dispatches is celebrating dance around the world, we know that dancers tend to enjoy fitness classes, athletic wear, workout gear and much-needed trips to the spa. (We cover these topics, along with travel, in our lifestyle section.) The relaxing Baños Colina hot springs near Santiago, Chile are tucked away in the Andres Mountains. If you’ve got a day to spare during your vacation, they’re definitely worth the trip. The facilities are sparse, but the light blue water is gorgeous, and perfectly relaxing after a mountain hike.

Termas de Banos Colina

3. Teaching Dance in Okinawa Interview

Although dance is more or less a universal nonverbal language, it varies from culture to culture. We were curious to hear about an American dance teacher’s experience in Okinawa, Japan at FootLoose Dance Studio, where she taught a significant number of expats in addition to a few local students. Heatherly thoughtfully discusses some of the challenges of teaching dance to students who are temporarily transplanted to a new country and why teaching dance is personally rewarding.

Dance teacher on stage with students at recital

It’s not our first birthday, yet, but Dance Dispatches got off to a great start in 2019. We look forward to building our community and sharing more interesting dance articles with you, as a hybrid dance blog and digital dance magazine. Thanks for joining us. We wish you a wonderful start to 2020 – and look forward to sharing more dance news with you throughout the new decade.

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