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Bravo to These 8 Hardworking Ballet Dads

Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae with his kids. Via Instagram.

With Father's Day just around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to acknowledge some of the dancer dads out there who are doing double duty at home and onstage. So in between feting the father figures in your life this weekend (and thanking them for sitting through countless hours of dance recitals throughout the course of your lives), check out these eight ballet dads below.


Seth Orza - Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal 

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Seth Orza seems to prepping his six-year-old daughter, Lola, for life on the road. As the child of not one but two PNB principals (Orza is married to Sarah Ricard Orza), Lola explored Paris while on tour with her parents last summer (we love that Orza captioned this shot "Tiny tourist.") And according to Orza's Instagram, father and daughter also share a love of Star Wars; after all, "May the Fourth Be With You" jokes never do get old.

Steven McRae - Royal Ballet Principal 

Steven McRae's Instagram is jam-packed with adorable glimpses of his two children, Audrey Bluebell and Frederick Charles, along with his wife, Royal Ballet soloist Elizabeth McRae. We already knew that McRae was famous for his insane workouts; what we didn't know until now is that his cross-training routine includes his kids (who seem to be having a total blast).

Thomas Forster - American Ballet Theatre Soloist 

From errands to soccer, American Ballet Theatre soloist Thomas Forster and his two-year-old son Ben seem to be true pals. And if this video of Ben with his mom Leann Forster is any indication, Ben might end up following in his parents' footsteps (his toddler arabesque is pretty impressive).

Rex Tilton - Ballet West Principal 

Ajax Tilton, son of Ballet West principal Rex Tilton and first soloist Allison DeBona, is only seven months old, but he's already making a big splash on Instagram. (He shares his account with his family's dog, Zipper). Ajax's age is not stopping him from knowing his way around a studio; he and his dad are clearly the next father/son teaching team to watch.

Ethan Stiefel - Choreographer and Former American Ballet Theatre Principal 

Father's Day is coming at the perfect time for ballet star Ethan Stiefel. His wife, American Ballet Theatre principal Gillian Murphy, gave birth to Ax Nathaniel less than a week ago. And according to Murphy's Instagram post, Ax's name fittingly means "Father of Peace." We can't wait to watch this ABT baby grow up.

Luke Ingham - San Francisco Ballet Principal 

One advantage of being a dancer dad is having a built-in cheerleading squad. San Francisco Ballet principal Luke Ingham and choreographer Danielle Rowe's three-year-old daughter Aggie makes sure that Ingham is pumped up to perform. And the arts are definitely in her future: If not as a dancer, than surely as a singer or percussionist.

Temur Suluashvili - Joffrey Ballet Dancer

Joffrey Ballet dancers Temur Suluashvili and Victoria Jaiani's five-year-old son Maxim seems to have it pretty good. He gets to travel with his parents (with a cool dino backpack no less), and get jumping lessons from his dancing dad. Plus, he already seems pretty comfortable onstage.

Guillaume Côté - National Ballet of Canada Principal

Leo and Emma also have two dancers for parents: Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden, both principals with National Ballet of Canada. Not only is Emma rocking it in her own tutu and gets to play Juliet to her dad's Romeo, but she got to join him onstage in March for his 20th anniversary performance. As of this point, Leo seems more interested in pancakes and badgers than ballet, but he may come around after all.

Just for fun
Via @lizzo on Twitter

On August 20, pop goddess Lizzo tweeted, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded which responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall tagging the singer in submissions.

Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use #LizzoBalletChallenge so we know what you're up to.)

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Viral Videos

French ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire first gained fame when she premiered the titular title role in Roland Petit's Carmen in 1949, opposite Petit as Carmen's lover Don José. With her famously cropped hair (and cropped tutu!), Jeanmaire's performance as the seductive gypsy took the world by storm, catapulting her and Petit's careers.

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Ballet Stars
From left: Douane Gosa, Gianni Goffredo, James Whiteside, Maxfield Haynes and Matthew Poppe in WTF. Yo Poosh, Courtesy Kimberly Giannelli PR.

We've always known that Madonna loves dance. After all, the "Queen of Pop" studied at the Martha Graham School in the 1970s. Nevertheless, we were still surprised (and thrilled) to see that she invited James Whiteside to perform at her 61st birthday party in The Hamptons last weekend.

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Giveaways
Modeled by Daria Ionova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Elevé Dancewear.
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