Ballet Stars

No matter how many years it's been, it's impossible to discuss dance movies and not mention Center Stage. Now 18 years since its premiere (May 12, 2000, FYI), the movie was the talk of the ballet studio for months after it hit theaters, and it even had our non-dancer friends excited. Plus, it starred some of ballet's biggest names—American Ballet Theatre's Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent and Sascha Radetsky (and a few brief appearances from dancers like Gillian Murphy and Janie Taylor). It also, of course, starred San Francisco Ballet apprentice turned actress Amanda Schull as the movie's beloved Jody Sawyer.

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All of these moms put a lot of thought and effort into getting their children the perfect holiday gift. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre.

With Mother's Day fast approaching, we started thinking about some of the mom characters in ballet who don't get enough credit. Below are five of our favorites.


Swan Lake

Siegfried's mother might have put a lot of pressure on him to get married, but she did go to great lengths to provide him with plenty of options. She brought in princesses from all over the world, and he still had to go and choose a swan?

Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen's "Swan Lake." Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy BB.

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Tetiana Holiakova in 'Sleeping Beauty.' Courtesy The National Ballet of Ukraine

Bunheads, mark your calendars. The National Ballet of Ukraine is making its way to the U.S. for the first time in its 150-season history. Based in the capital of Kiev, the company has previously toured internationally in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, Hungary, Oman, Greece, Spain, Italy, Mexico, China, Latin America and Australia. On May 18, they will begin their 11-city U.S. tour, performing two classical full-length ballets: Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote.

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Thinkstock.

Finding the right pointe shoe is hard enough. But as any serious ballet dancer can tell you, it's only half the battle. The padding you pair with your pointe shoes plays a big role in your ability to stay on your toes pain-free (or close to it) through classes and rehearsals. When Second Skin squares alone won't cut it, there's a new generation of toe pads to provide relief.


PerfectFit Inserts

Photo by Nathan Sayers

Chances are you've seen these pads (and the telltale blue putty that comes with them) on your Instagram feed. The completely genius PerfectFit inserts are actually customized molds that fill any spaces between your toes and your shoe vamp, and help reduce pressure on commonly irritated spots like bunions. Though they've only been around for a few years, PerfectFit pads have already gained a huge pro following, including New York City Ballet's Sara Mearns, Royal Danish Ballet's Holly Dorger and Los Angeles Ballet's Bianca Bulle.

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Ballet Stars
Courtesy Under Armour

Misty Copeland just designed her very own collection with Under Armour—and it seems like a natural fit. She's been part of the activewear brand since 2014. On May 2, the American Ballet Theatre principal took a break from rehearsing for the upcoming spring season to officially unveil her Misty Copeland Signature Collection in New York City.

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Pari Dukovic, via Instagram.

In need of weekend rehearsal inspo? Harper's Bazaar has you covered, thanks to their May issue. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dancer-favorite film, The Red Shoes, the mag combined some the world's biggest names in ballet with designer gowns (and red shoes, of course).

Photographed by Pari Dukovic, the full story is available on newsstands and the Harper's Bazaar site, and it includes insight on why the 1948 film still matters from American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and Misty Copeland as well as New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck.

"Watching The Red Shoes is like watching a ballet," Copeland tells Bazaar. "Just like Swan Lake, it has stood the test of time. You don't look at it and think, 'Oh, this was filmed in a certain time.' It's like experiencing a live performance."

Check out each of the dancers' portraits as they channel the film's leading lady, Vicky Page (played by real-life ballerina Moira Shearer).

Boylston in Dior with Christian Louboutin shoes

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Ballet Stars
Rachel Papo

New York City Ballet's Miriam Miller prefers a pared-down look when she's not onstage or on the runway. The corps member and DNA Management model has established her own off-duty uniform, often made up of various items from her travels. "When we're on tour, I'll get something at a consignment shop just to have a little memory of being in a new city," Miller says, adding that she buys most of her clothes from consignment and thrift stores. Though she doesn't stick to any particular brands, Miller does have a few favorite styles, like her high-waisted bell-bottoms. "I like the way the relaxed flare looks," she explains, "plus, they're more comfortable than skinny jeans after a show. And color-wise, I like neutrals with an accessory pop of light pink or purple or blue."

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Elisabeth Beyer. Photo Courtesy VAM Productions.

Congratulations to the 2018 YAGP winners! After months of semi-finals, 1,800 dancers from around the world were chosen to attend a week of finals in New York, competing for ballet scholarships and contracts. We've been following the action all week (you can catch up on our backstage coverage, here). The 2018 competition wrapped up on April 19 with the Stars of Today Meet The Stars of Tomorrow gala which featured performances from pros like American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck. Following today's awards ceremony, YAGP has just announced this year's winners (aka the dancers you're going to want make note of). Check out the full list and highlights from the competition below.

Senior Women

1st Place: Elisabeth Beyer (15), Ellison Ballet - Professional Training Program, NY, USA

2nd Place: Guo Wen Jin (16), Shanghai Dance School, China

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