Want to hear directly from the dancers who move you and share in their day-to-day? Find them on Instagram. Here are 10 dancers with highly individual approaches to get you started.
The Art Photographer: Devin Alberda (@dalberda)
No one captures breathtaking backstage and rehearsal moments quite like Alberda, a New York City Ballet corps member. You may have seen George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins’s ballets, but not like this: Alberda often takes photos from unexpected angles and with unusual yet beautiful lighting effects.
The Ballerina Backstage: Isabella Boylston (@isabellaboylston)
Boylston, an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, shows sights from the company’s tours abroad and rehearsals, and shares hilarious behind-the-scenes moments. In one (below), Boylston walks four-legged Giselle cast members while dressed as the title character.
The Straight Shooter: Lauren Cuthbertson (@londonballerina)
A principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, Cuthbertson shares scenes from her seemingly glamorous life in London while still managing to be down to earth. One photo from the company’s 2015 Lincoln Center season shows her chugging water from a plastic jug to keep hydrated; another (below) reveals the messy reality of dressing rooms.
The Heartthrob: Marcelo Gomes (@marcelua)
Gomes, a Brazilian-born American Ballet Theatre principal, shares self-portraits sure to make his fans swoon. Other highlights include dressing room videos and glimpses of nap time with his Dachshund, Nua.
The Portrait Artist: Craig Hall (@lsweaters)
Other Instagrammers on this list capture the whole body, but New York City Ballet soloist Craig Hall often prefers to take close-up portraits of his dancer friends (shown below: City Ballet corps member Olivia Boisson). And don’t miss his stunning series of black-and-white portraits of subway commuters.
The Formalist: Laura Halzack (@laurahalzack)
Halzack, of Paul Taylor Dance Company, takes stark photos of Taylor’s modern dances on stage and in rehearsal. Just as striking are the vibrant cityscapes and street scenes she snaps while traveling with her troupe through countries including Chile and Italy.
The Jetsetter: Maria Kochetkova (@balletrusse)
A principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre who frequently performs abroad, Kotchetkova gives followers an inside look at her travels, whether touring the ruins of Pompeii or backstage at the Paris Opéra. And as the photo below shows, Kotchetkova, who stars in Lincoln Center’s September 24 cinema presentation of Romeo and Juliet, has a keen sense of humor.
The Multitasker: Benjamin Millepied (@benjaminmillepied)
Millepied, choreographer and director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, offers up behind-the-scenes shots of dancers onstage and in rehearsal and vintage photos of his favorite dance figures, including George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham. Millepied also shows fans around the lavish interiors of the Palais Garner, his company’s historic home.
The Boundary Breaker: Lil Buck (@lilbuckdalegend)
Los Angeles-based dancer Charles "Lil Buck" Riley, who works with artists ranging from Madonna to Yo-Yo Ma, specializes in a style known as Memphis jookin’, mixing street dance with ballet. Follow Lil Buck, who recently appeared at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, for photos and videos of his mind-blowing moves.
The Unstoppable Force: Wendy Whelan (@wendyw)
Whelan retired from New York City Ballet in 2014 after 30 years with the company, but she’s hardly standing still. On Instagram, Whelan shares her new adventures working on contemporary projects, such as Other Stories, a collaboration with Royal Ballet dancer Edward Watson. Not to mention portraits of her cats.