Nathan Sayers

Miami City Ballet Soloist Nathalia Arja Teaches a Professional Football Player How to Dance (Sort Of)

Putting an elite ballerina next to an NFL player is inherently comedic. There's the sheer size difference, to begin with, and the contrasting nature of their movement quality. But when the context of such an unexpected pairing is that Miami City Ballet soloist Nathalia Arja (sporting what has to be her favorite leotard) will give New England Patriots tight end Robert Gronkowski "a ballet lesson," you know you're in for an especially absurd time.

Gronkowski is approximately three times bigger than Arja, who, despite having a firecracker reputation onstage, barely comes up to his armpit. Gronkowski is noted for his agility on the field, but he's hopelessly inept at mimicking Arja. Though, to be fair, he has hops.

We love a good publicity stunt that features ballet, but it's a little bit frustrating to see these scenes play out under the assumption that anyone can waltz into a studio and learn technique. Here's to more scenarios where dancers and pro athletes can learn from each other in a meaningful way.
P.S. Arja was our April/May 2015 cover star, and she was recently promoted! Next season she'll step into the rank of principal soloist with MCB.

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