Imagine what it would be like to be Princess Aurora on her 16th birthday. Never mind the pressure to choose a suitor—think of how difficult it must be to keep composed as the center of attention. To us, Aurora has an inherently beautiful, ethereal presence. But perhaps she's like any 16-year-old girl—anxious to maintain the beauty that accompanies her every move. Ballet dancers face this challenge all the time—our minds race to maintain control so that the audience can enjoy a seemingly effortless performance.
It often takes a great ballerina like former Royal Ballet principal Darcey Bussell to show us how. In this 1999 video of the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty, Bussell, as Princess Aurora, moves among her suitors. Each step could be a trap to lose control, but she never falters. Rather, she performs with a grace she sustained throughout her fruitful career. Watch how she demands her body to float throughout the famous balances and promenades en attitude. No matter which way she begins to fall, she catches herself with the composure of Princess Aurora at the ball. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!