The transformation from studio student to stage star does not happen overnight, and it is always a healthy reminder for young dancers to see the hard work, long hours, perseverance and passion that goes into the making of a professional dancer. Instagram lets us share our stories both literally and figuratively, giving the world a glimpse into our everyday lives. It also provides a world of inspiration, and this is no exception to the world of dance, as we see influential emerging and professional dancers making their mark on the stage and the social media scene. To highlight some of the spotlight worthy dance instagrammers of our time, we are bringing you the greatest pointed toes, split leaps, pirouettes (oh there will be plenty), and free styling from around the world!
Every young dancer’s journey almost always begins with a ballet class. The moment of truth in which a dancer must decide whether to keep that tutu on, or break free from those tights and trade them in for some roomy track pants and stylish high-tops. This also sounds like the synopsis to pretty much every Step Up movie. Here to represent the ballerinos, we can’t help but keep our eyes wide open when soloist of the Cincinnati Ballet, Jorge Barani steps onto stage. Dedicated to everything ballet, Barani’s instagram account @balletbarani features endless mesmerizing dance moments that defy gravity and exemplify the result of many years of drive and determination.
No pas de deux is complete without a ballerina, and luckily we have a few instagramming bunheads that prefer to fouetté their way to the main stage of social media. It goes without saying that the principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has changed the face of ballet, bringing a new definition and life to the dance form and industry. Misty is without a doubt one of the best ballerinas of our time, and she’s made it from the stage to the big screen in films such as A Ballerina’s Tale and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. More importantly, she has taken her talent to touch the hearts of many young dancers, inspiring us to overcome adversity and embrace our true selves to achieve greatness. To experience the empowerment of Misty Copeland, check out her instagram account @mistyonpointe.
The world of dance does not require one to choose a side, though it’s a no brainer when it comes to Star Wars, you always side with Yoda and the Jedi. Dance is about embracing versatility and diversity, and some dancers can wear so many hats, well I guess in this case it would be shoes...and the occasional bare feet. Former principal dancer of the Miami City Ballet and So You Think You Can Dance all star, Alex Wong is the epitome of a versatile dancer, and a true standout performer. In an unconventional manner and humorous tone, Alex’s instagram account @alexdwong demonstrates some jaw dropping moves while showing us that although dance requires a lot of hard work, it doesn’t always need to be so serious and there is certainly room for fun! A particular favourite from his series of posts, is his dance training gym workouts that always add in a little twist, whether it’s doing Russian leap burpees or walking the treadmill in pointe shoes.
Within the spectrum of dance styles, there tends to be a crossover where ballet meets contemporary dance. Corps de ballet dancer of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Juliano Nunes takes his foundations in ballet to a whole new level of movement with articulation, complexity and intricacy. Definitely the black sheep of the ballet herd, his movement style and presence makes him a true stand out, and Juliano always leaves us wanting more. Follow Juliano Nunes @nunes.art, and prepare to be mind blown by the way he merges movement originality with years of technical training. Because without quirk, there is no way to ‘werk’!
Okay, so we’ve shown you the dancers who have “made it” to the big stage and are active professionals in the dance industry, but now we want to highlight the emerging dancers who are ready to take the future of dance to new heights! Not quite the ballet pas de deux, but these two hip-hoppin’ dancers, Reese and Taylor Hatala are sisters who were both born to dance with style, strength and pizzazz. At just 12 and 15 years old, these girls may look young and innocent, but when they take the dance floor, their fierce presence and show stopping dance moves could intimidate a WBA boxer. Keeping it breezy, the Hatala sisters might be able to teach you a few cool moves, so check out their dance adventures @reeses_pieces77 and @tayd_dance.
Bouncing between hip hop and contemporary dance, while sometimes meeting in the middle, 18 year old Sean Lew dances with authentic emotion and undeniable artistry. On Sean’s instagram account @seanlew, you will find his greatest hits in dance, as well as a humble homage of gratitude towards his family and supporters. Because the key ingredient to any great dancer, is a good attitude.
As some might know her from the documentary film, First Position, Michaela DePrince is already a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet at just 24 years old. Communicating through her beautiful movement may be one thing, but Michaela has also wrote and talked about the struggles and triumphs in her life’s story of, Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina. Truly an inspirational dancer who teaches us about survival, courage, love, determination and passion, Michaela DePrince is one of the greatest motivational movers of our time. Be sure to follow her @michaeladeprince for an extra boost of positivity to brighten up your dance day!
Whether you are looking to learn more about dance, or for new inspiration, these dancing instagrammers give us a sneak peak into the wonderful world of art, movement and life. Each dancer has their own unique story to tell, and there is always something to learn from one artist to another. Though we might be at different stages in our dance careers, we all want to transform our dance dreams into a reality, and we can do that with the support of our fellow dance community, both locally and globally. Make your mark, whether it’s on stage or on social media, and with that last note, be sure to dance strong and carry on!