Bravo to These 8 Hardworking Ballet Dads

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.

Latest Posts


Courtesy Tiler Peck

Tiler Peck's Top 10 Tips for Training at Home

On March 15, New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck announced to her 172,000-plus Instagram followers that she'd be teaching a live class from her family's home in Bakersfield, California, where she's currently waiting out COVID-19. Little did she know that she'd receive such a viral response. Since then, Peck has offered daily Instagram LIVE classes Monday through Friday at 10 am PST/1 pm EST, plus an occasional Saturday class and Sunday stretch/Pilates combo. "The reaction was just so overwhelming," she says. "These classes are keeping me sane, and giving me something to look forward to."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Miranda Weese and Damian Woetzel in "Swan Lake" (1999)

This February, New York City Ballet presented Peter Martin's two-act version of Swan Lake. In her New York Times review, Gia Kourlas reminisced about some of NYCB's past Odette/Odiles, pointing to a masterful, and high stakes, 1999 "Live From Lincoln Center" performance starring Miranda Weese and Damian Woetzel. With just an hour's notice, Weese stepped in to dance the Swan Queen for an injured Darci Kistler. The live television broadcast was Weese and Woetzel's first time dancing these roles together, though you'd never know; in this clip of the White Swan pas de deux the pair looks connected and utterly captivating.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
An instructor from The Hive in Chicago leads class over Zoom (courtesy The Hive)

The Dance Student's Guide to Making the Best—and the Most—of At-Home Training

If you're social distancing to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19, you've inevitably realized that training safely and successfully at home poses a significant challenge. We talked to dance experts to find out how you can make the best of this less-than-ideal scenario—and about the unexpected ways it can help you grow as a dancer and artist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS