Ballet Stars

2019 Stars of the Corps: 10 Young Dancers That Stand Out in a Crowd

New York City Ballet's Mira Nadon as the Courage Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Here are 10 corps de ballet dancers we're swooning over. Click their names and photos to learn more!


Courtney Lavine, American Ballet Theatre

Courtney Lavine in Marcelo Gomes' AfterEffect. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

Sage Humphries, Boston Ballet

From left: Sage Humphries and Lauren Herfindahl in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet. Liza Voll, Courtesy Boston Ballet.


Mira Nadon, New York City Ballet

Mira Nadon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Christopher D'Ariano, Pacific Northwest Ballet

Christopher D'Ariano with PNB soloist Leah Merchant in Robyn Mineko Williams' The Trees The Trees. Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

Tommie Kesten, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Tommie Kesten in The Sleeping Beauty with Lucius Kirst. Rich Sofranko, Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Edson Barbosa, The Joffrey Ballet

Edson Barbosa in Swan Lake. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet.

Mayumi Enokibara, Miami City Ballet

Mayumi Enokibara in Miami City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy MCB.

Adelaide Clauss, The Washington Ballet

Adelaide Clauss and Tamás Krizsa perform Swan Lake's Act II pas de deux. Gene Witkowski, Courtesy The Washington Ballet.

Jasmine Jimison, San Francisco Ballet

Jasmine Jimison as the Fairy of Playfulness in The Sleeping Beauty. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Yuria Isaka, Staatsballett Berlin

Yan Revazov, Courtesy Staatsballett Berlin.

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

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National Ballet of Canada principal Heather Ogden in The Sleeping Beauty, which tours to the Kennedy Center this week. Bruce Zinger, Courtesy the Kennedy Center.

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Ballet Stars
Karina González in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

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