World, if you haven't already, meet Jay Ledford.

She's an incredibly gifted 18-year-old student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet with lines for dayyyyys. She's also transgender. And describing her as inspiring is a bit of an understatement.

Jay began transitioning relatively recently, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram. She's an active advocate for transgender youth, the kind of role model that so many young people—inside and outside of the dance world—need right now.


She's also just. so. beautiful. I mean:

Recently, in a post for New York City Ballet's "With Ballet" campaign, Jay talked about how ballet has helped her become her most authentic self:

"With ballet I am able to be who I am. I am able to express myself in ways that aren't possible through words. Being transgender I am able to not only express who I am through ballet but I am able to show others that you can do anything without giving up. Ballet is a way to get away from everything and just breathe. Dance is a breath of fresh air."

Keep living your truth, Jay. We're predicting great things for you—and the other trans trailblazers of the dance world.

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