Ballet Stars

Go Behind-the-Scenes at the Vail Dance Festival with These Incredible Instagram Posts

Erin Baiano, Courtesy Vail Dance Festival

If, like us, you're anywhere that isn't the Vail Dance Festival right now, you're obviously bummed to be missing all the amazing performances, premieres and collaborations currently underway. Luckily, many of our favorite bunheads have been keeping us updated on the amazing work being done up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains via Instagram. Here's a roundup of some of our favorite posts so far.


Jennifer Garner is Back on the Ballet Scene

These days, it feels like no ballet performance is complete without a visit from well-known ballet lover Jennifer Garner, who joined her fellow Cindy, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, as well as New York City Ballet's Lauren Lovette and Unity Phelan backstage after their performance of George Balanchine's Serenade. Garner also had the chance to celebrate with her other beloved Cindy James Whiteside backstage during the world premiere of his new work, New American Romance.

Isabella Boylston is Fall-ing in Love with "Serenade"

Speaking of Boylston, the ABT star made her debut in Serenade on Friday, and posted a hilarious behind-the-scenes video of her attempt at the infamously hard promenade from the ballet's pas de trois with Whiteside and Lovette. Bonus points to Boylston for managing to stay on pointe all the way until the end!

An Insider Look At "Apollo" Rehearsal 

Phelan joined fellow Vail regular, ABT soloist Calvin Royal III, in rehearsal for another complicated Balanchine partnering maneuver. In this video, Royal and Phelan harness their inner ballet gods and goddesses during a rehearsal for Apollo while being coached by former NYCB principals Heather Watts and Vail artistic director Damian Woetzel.

Visit the Vail Stage with the Dancers of ABT

ABT corps dancer Isadora Loyola gives us another chance to go behind-the-scenes with her fellow company members in rehearsal for Antony Tudor's Jardin Aux Lilac, Whitesides' New American Romance, as well as a pre-barre glimpse at the perfectly picturesque Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (can you say dream performance space?)

James Whiteside, Tap Phenom

Catch Whiteside back in his tap shoes in rehearsal for Michelle Dorrance's 1-2-3-4-5-6, which made its world premiere at Vail in 2016. Whiteside will tap-tap-tap alongside Dorrance herself, as well as Vail breakout star Lil Buck and Pam Tanowitz Dance's Melissa Toogood.

Colorado Ballet + Isabella Boylston + "Serenade" = Perfection

Catch the lovely ladies of Colorado Ballet (feat. special guest star Boylston) in rehearsal for Serenade in this video. Nothing says Vail like an amazing collaboration, and we love watching Boylston bourrée alongside Colorado corps members Mackenzie Dessens, Emily Speed, Sarah Tryon and Fernanda Oliveira.

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Stella Abrera in Alexei Ratmansky's The Seasons. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Audition Dancewear

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The company—run by two mother-daughter duos, Kathy and Caroline Perry and Shelly and Suzanna Lathrum—has begun making leotards from recycled materials to reduce their carbon footprint and raise awareness around plastic consumption. The result is a sleek line of leos that don't sacrifice style or function, and that use four or five recycled water bottles per leo.

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Francesca Hayward (center) in Cats (courtesy NBCUniversal)

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

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