There's nothing more purrrrfect than some fabulous trinas and their feline friends. We're not kitten: these bonds are paw-sitively adorable! From hanging out backstage to working out together and more, these pairs will pas de chat their way straight into your heart.


1. New York City Ballet principal Gonzalo Garcia and Gordo

Posing above with NYCB principal Megan Fairchild, Gonazalo's cat Gordo is one of the most important (and, arguably, one of the fluffiest) things in his life. The pair do everything together like taking lazy Sunday naps and applying for dual citizenship. Gordo was was even featured on NYCB's Insta, casually living out a million dancers' dream.

2. Miami City Ballet corps member Ella Titus and Gatsby

Titus is a cat lady and proud. Her Insta is FILLED with glam shots of her cat Gatsby, who, if you take a peek, looks like one amazing cuddle buddy and a welcomed reprieve after a long day at dance. But when it matters, Gatsby's there egging Titus on in her dance career, acting as her dance partner, travel companion, and personal trainer.

3. New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette and Boon

A pink, sparkly, beautiful tutu covered in delicate, white lace? Forget about it. Boon just wanted the box. Lovette rescued her adorable feline friend last year, urging others to do the same. From cuddles with tutu boxes to pointe shoes, Boon now lives vicariously through Lovette and her incredible dance career.

4. Los Angeles Ballet principal Petra Conti and Misiu

There's only one thing that could make a White Swan tutu even better. And that's a cat to go with it. Conti and fellow LA Ballet Principal Eris Nezha are the proud parents of two Siberian cats, Misiu and Frida. Follow these two fluff balls on their very own Insta that they share with the couple's four parakeets.

5. American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo and Mila

Nothing says true love like letting a foot—let alone a dancer's foot—scratch your chin. And if this isn't a big enough testament to these two's relationship, their matching outfits for this year's World Cup definitely are.

Ballet Training
Kali Kleiman performing at YAGP's New York Finals. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

As someone who has judged many ballet competitions, I've had the opportunity to see some breathtaking contemporary solos that combine fantastic technique with well-conceived choreography. Yet it's often hard for us judges to see the artistic intention behind these solos the way we can when watching a classical variation. For one thing, we're simply more familiar with classical ballet's repertoire and characters. But also, when a contemporary solo is just a string of one trick after another, or only delivers one emotion (such as overwrought angst), we don't get to see any artistic depth.

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Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

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Ballet Stars
Elle Macy in Benjamin Millepied's Appassionata. Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

Cross-training misconceptions: Before Elle Macy became an apprentice with Pacific Northwest Ballet, she was apprehensive about cross-training. "I was warned that it might bulk you, or not to do certain activities because they could potentially injure you." But a stress fracture in her foot changed her perspective. Unable to bear much weight, Macy reluctantly tried stationary biking at her physical therapist's suggestion. "What I learned is that you're not going to get injured from being on an elliptical for 20 minutes or by taking a Pilates class," says Macy. Today, it's not uncommon to find the soloist training on the elliptical, doing ankle stability exercises, using the Pilates reformer or taking a hot yoga class.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

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