Ballet Stars
Photo by Jayme Thornton

It's National Bullying Prevention Month—and Houston Ballet breakout star Harper Watters is exactly the advocate young dancers facing bullying need. Watters is no novice when it comes to slaying on social media, but his Bullying Prevention Month collaboration with Teen Vogue and Instagram is him at his most raw, speaking about his own experiences with bullies, and how his love of dance helped him to overcome adversity. Watters even penned an incredible op-ed for Teen Vogue's website, where he talks candidly about growing up queer. Catch his amazing anti-bullying video here—and, as Watters says, "Stay fabulous, stay flawless, stay flexible, but most importantly, stay fearless."

Keep reading... Show less

If you’ve been following season two of Teen Vogues reality web series “Strictly Ballet,” you know that the stakes are high for its anxious stars. The show, which follows six pre-professional dancers at the Miami City Ballet School, has been leading up to a major school performance—and MCB artistic director Lourdes Lopez is closely watching. For Carlos, Valeriia, Mayumi, Gustavo and Ella, their futures are on the line.

 

So, which two made it into the company—and where did the others end up? I won’t spoil it for you. Today, Teen Vogue released the last four episodes (the second of which provides fantastic advice for nailing your next audition). And on July 17, the show will release a bonus follow-up on one of its stars. Check out Episode 15 below, and be sure to catch up on the rest on Condé Nast Entertainment’s web channel, The Scene.

Many of you may remember last summer’s “Strictly Ballet,” Teen Vogue’s reality web series that took viewers inside the high-pressure lives of six students at the School of American Ballet. And you may especially remember those nerve-racking class scenes with Peter Martins, ballet master in chief of New York City Ballet, as he assesses SAB’s highest level students for possible company apprenticeships. At the series’ end, we learn (spoiler alert!) that then 17-year-old North Carolina native Mimi Staker has made the cut.

 

Since then, life has gotten even more exciting for Staker—after a few months as an apprentice, she was promoted to a full-fledged corps member. (And on May 13, she’ll debut in her first leading role as Maria in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite!) In a new online video released today on The Scene, Staker reveals how her life has changed and what a typical day is like at NYCB. (And they’re long, often going from 10 am to 10 pm.) You can check it out here:

 

 

Season 2 of “Strictly Ballet” premieres May 20.

AOL Originals first took us into New York City Ballet's Lincoln Center studios in city.ballet., and now Teen Vogue is doing the same—but this time, the camera is on the School of American Ballet. Strictly Ballet, which launched its first episode today, will follow students at various stages of their training, including dancers in their last year who are waiting to see if Peter Martins will hire them as NYCB apprentices. Episodes will be released regularly through the end of June.

The web series feels very similar to AOL's: Five-minute segments with quick camera cuts and lots of dancer commentary. But so far, Strictly Ballet doesn't have the cheese that sometimes sneaked its way into city.ballet. There aren't any pointe shoes dangling in the NYC subway or rock music to help illustrate that ballet is tough. In a clip of the dancers taking class (the longest cut of the very short episode—please keep those coming!), we watch Martins pick on a student, Alec, at the barre. After getting the correction, he still doesn't perform the combination to his liking. Martins asks another student to show him how it's really done. "I'll spare you," he says to Alec.

You can see it on Alec's face. He's thinking: "Martins is the one who decides my fate at NYCB. Every moment counts." The stakes are high and it's subtly communicated—no rock music necessary.

 

 

 

Teen Vogue’s “Strictly Ballet” is back. The popular web series, which took us inside the lives of School of American Ballet students last year, heads to Florida and into the halls of the Miami City Ballet School. The show, which premiered May 20, follows seven MCBS dancers between ages 14 and 21, and from countries ranging from Brazil to Russia. Each faces the agonizing question of whether they’ll be successful in their chosen profession. This week, three more episodes were released on Condé Nast Entertainment’s web channel, The Scene.

 

In episode 7, Valeriia, who trained at the Vaganova Academy before coming to MCBS, feels she has nothing to go back to in Russia. Unable to secure a contract there, she asserts that she simply has to get into a company in America—there’s no room for the contemplation of “or else.” However, she and her peers face one the harshest realities of a ballet dancer’s life: when you are on the cusp of your professional career, a single director’s whim may determine your whole future. In an audition with over one hundred people, how do you get one pair of eyes to notice you? In a studio video recording, how do you make your personality and the unique subtleties of your dancing come across on camera?

 

You can check out Valeriia’s story, as well as how she puts together her audition video, below. And make sure to check out The Scene to catch up on all other episodes of "Strictly Ballet." (Hint: episode 4 features Pointe’s April/May cover girl, Nathalia Arja.)

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox