Just for fun

5 Dancers and Their Cats You Need to Meet Right Meow

Boon, Lauren Lovette's furry friend. Photo via @laurenlovette on Instagram.

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 Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Ballet Stars
Megan Amanda Ehrlich, Courtesy LEAP Program

Claire Sheridan wanted to change the status quo. Leading up to the 1990s, she recalls, "there was a 'shut up and dance' mind-set," and as the founder of the dance program at St. Mary's College of California and a longtime teacher in professional companies, she had seen too many dancers retire with no plan for a successful career transition. "At that time, if you thought about education and the future," she says, "you were not a committed dancer. I wanted to fight that."

With the support of St. Mary's, Sheridan developed the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals program, or LEAP, an innovative liberal-arts bachelor's degree program designed especially for professional dancers. She first presented her idea to executives at San Francisco Ballet. "Kudos to that company, because they said, 'This is great,'" she says. "Eleven of the first 18 dancers who started in August 1999 were from SFB."

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Ballet Training
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I'm a college freshman, and my dance program isn't challenging enough. We only have ballet three times a week and a few hours of modern, and my classmates aren't as dedicated as I am. There's a small dance company nearby, where I was hoping to take extra classes, but I don't have a car. I want to transfer, but I feel like I won't be in good enough shape for auditions. —Tara

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