Viral Videos

#TBT: Ballet on Sesame Street—Suzanne Farrell, Angel Corella, Misty Copeland and More!

Lorena and Lorna Feijóo in their Sesame Street debut

You probably remember watching "Sesame Street" in your pre-ballet days, but did you know that some of your favorite ballet dancers and companies have appeared alongside your favorite PBS characters?

We've rounded up some our most beloved ballet scenes from the classic children's program below.

Count Suzanne Farrell's turns

Remember the days when you counted "1, 2, 3, 4" instead "and, 5, 6, 7, 8"? Relive that time as you—and the Count—add up the legendary Balanchine muse's turns in this 1985 episode.



Learn the alphabet with Angel Corella

Why didn't they teach the alphabet like this in school? Corella leaps and soars among a corps of animated ABCs in this 1998 clip— and he totally upstages the letters.



Dancing with the stars—and sun, moon, earth and water: Dance Theatre of Harlem

Did you know that Dance Theatre of Harlem created a ballet for Sesame Street? In this 1995 episode, the company—plus three adorable students—perform the story ballet A Home in the Sky, narrated by Zoe and Elmo.



Cooperate with New York City Ballet's Lourdes Lopez and Jock Soto

Who did you dream of dancing with when you were younger? If New York City Ballet comes to mind, you might be a bit envious of Zoe and Elmo! In this 1998 episode, they get to chance to try partnering with principals Lourdes Lopez and Jock Soto in a scene about the importance of cooperation.



Lambarena with Lorena and Lorna Feijóo

What are your earliest memories of choreography? Did you have specific ideas about how pieces should be danced? In this 2008 episode, the Feijoo sisters sparkle in an irresistible slice of Val Caniparoli's Lambarena adapted for the Sesame Street stage. Then they join in Zoe's unique version of the piece…



"Sesame Street" meets Swan Lake

Raise your hands—er, wings—if you've been practicing swan arms since the age you were watching Sesame Street. In this 2013 episode, NYCB's Kristen Segin, Alina Dronova, Callie Bachman and Sara Adams demonstrate those oh-so-famous swan arms, explain ballet basics and perform the Dance of the Little Swans.



Misty Copeland and Cookie Monster choreograph a cookie ballet

Though technically a 2015 PBS promotional video instead of a Sesame Street episode, we wouldn't dream of leaving out this delicious dance-making collaboration between Misty Copeland and Cookie Monster. Can we just say that cookie ballets are the dance genre we didn't know we needed? (Anyone want to hold a festival in the future?)


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Ballet Stars
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

3rd Place: Seon Mee Park (18), Korea National University of Arts, Korea

3rd Place: Basia Rhoden (15), Master Ballet Academy, AZ, USA


Guo Wen Jin; Courtesy VAM Productions

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Photo by Rob Becker, courtesy DePrince.

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Last fall, you ruptured your Achilles tendon. How did that happen?

It was the first of August. I was in Sicily doing an event with Google. We had dinner at a temple and it was just absolutely incredible. I'm kind of clumsy outside of ballet, so I thought it would be safer if I took my shoes off. Then Lenny Kravitz starts to sing a song and he dedicates it to me. I got up and went to go sit next to him on the stage. When I got up from sitting, I stepped in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knew right away that I ruptured my Achilles. They brought me to an ambulance and took me to the hospital. I flew back to the Netherlands the next day and had an appointment with the doctors here in Amsterdam. They said, "Yeah, you ruptured three quarters of your Achilles." And then on August 14, I had surgery.

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From left: Jennifer Stahl, Lonnie Weeks and Sasha De Sola in rehearsal for Trey McIntyre's new work. Photo by Christian Peacock for Pointe.

Photography by Christian Peacock

Summer is always a lively time at San Francisco Ballet, as the dancers return from vacation and launch into rehearsals for the upcoming season. But last July through September felt absolutely electric with creativity as the company created 12 world premieres for Unbound: A Festival of New Works, a cutting-edge program that will run April 20–May 6 at the War Memorial Opera House.

Artistic director Helgi Tomasson invited a wish list of international choreographers to participate: David Dawson, Alonzo King, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Dwight Rhoden, Myles Thatcher, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon. Each got about 12 dancers, three weeks' studio time and, aside from a few general guidelines, total artistic freedom.

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Make sure you're comfortable slipping into pointe shoes for center. Photo by Jim Lafferty.

I was offered a company contract (my first!) starting this fall. What should I do in the meantime to make sure I'm as prepared as possible? —Melissa

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Olga Smirnova. Photo by Quinn Wharton.

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YAGP organizers "believe the Department of Homeland Security's decision may be motivated by the myriad tensions between the superpowers," says the piece, noting that "Smirnova is so revered in Moscow that her treatment could create a Russian backlash." The Mariinsky Ballet's Kimin Kim did receive a visa and was allowed to perform as scheduled.

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Houston Ballet principal Connor Walsh getting early practice as a leading man. Photo courtesy Connor Walsh

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Gillian Murphy, American Ballet Theatre

Murphy gets ready for her role as "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Photo courtesy Gillian Murphy.

"This photo was taken by my mom when I was 11, waiting in the dressing room (the band room of West Florence High School in South Carolina) before I went onstage as 'Mary' for a recital piece featuring 3-year-olds as little lambs.I had so much fun being the teacher's assistant in the baby ballet class each week, particularly because my little sister Tessa [pictured below] was one of the 3-year-olds. I remember feeling quite grown up at the time because I was dancing in the older kids' recital piece later in the program, but in this moment I was just looking forward to leading my little lambs onstage in their number."

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