A #BoneBreaking Insta-Takeover

Who are your favorite dancers to follow on Instagram? Juliet Doherty? Miko Fogarty? Sophia Lucia? Ashleigh Ross? Maddie Ziegler? Chloe Lukasiak? (Obviously, you follow @dancespiritmagazine on Instagram, where you get daily pics of all these gorgeous dancers and more. #shamelssplug)

Next question: What do all these Insta-famous bunheads and contemporary queens have in common? They post drool-worthy photos featuring their incredible lines.

at the top of the 600 yr old St. Elizabeth's Church in Wrocław!

A photo posted by Juliet Doherty (@julietdoherty) on

But unbelievable lines—as in "no way," "how'd-they-do-that," "OUCH" lines—aren't reserved for ballerinas and contemporary dancers, alone. Yep, there's a new troupe of dancers taking over Instagram, wowing the interwebz with out-of-this-world shapes they make with their bodies. And they call themselves bone breakers.

The Black Swan #ballet #pointe #bonebreaking #art #amazing #dance A photo posted by Andrew "Drew Dollaz" Boyce (@drewdollaz) on

Chances are, this isn't the first time you've heard of bone breaking. It's been featured on "So You Think You Can Dance" (Steven Ban for "SYT" Season 12's #TeamStreet!), and The New Yorker's webseries "Five-Borough Freestyle" recently released an episode about two NYC BBs, Khalil "Killa" Williams and Xavier "X" Days.

The style developed out of Bruk Up, a form inspired by Jamaican house dance. ("Bruk Up" means "break up," so you can totally see the connection there.) A lot of the work is focused on the upper body, specifically the shoulder sockets. Bone breakers appear to dislocate their shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc., creating shapes that you really don't expect to see on a human body.

Just last week, Business Insider published a story on bone breaking's growing popularity on Instagram. Apparently there are over 7,000 posts with #bonebreaking and an additional 4,000 with #bonebreak. Here's just some of what you can find when you search #bonebreaking on Instagram:

'The ghost inside of me.' Photo by: @eibidi

A photo posted by Alessio Campanelli (@alecampa95) on

"A picture can hold more words; However a song can recreate every emotion". A video posted by Alessio Campanelli (@alecampa95) on

#dancer #bonebreaking #flexing #леопард

A photo posted by Ратушев Даниил (@daniil_ratushev) on

Some people prefer not to watch bone breaking, because its extreme nature makes them uncomfortable. Others even say it's "gross." But we should really think before we make such sweeping generalizations. Is bone breaking really "gross," or is it just something we're not accustomed to seeing? One of the reasons we love dance is because it pushes the human body to the extreme. I mean, just think about pointe shoes. Dancers standing on their toenails?! You could say "ew" to that, too. Once we get passed that original, unnerving feeling, we can see bone breaking for what it really is: an incredible, and sort of totally beautiful, style of dance. #SaturdaySoapBox #MicDrop

(PS: Click here to watch "Five-Borough Freestyle: Bone Breaking.")


You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?


Keep reading... Show less
Angela Stirling

Bunheads, this one's for you. They say you can tell a Nutcracker by its "Snow" scene—and we fully believe it. There are so many versions with extra goodies—olive branches! Fake snow! Sleds! Choirs! Snow queens!—and each brings a special something to the holiday favorite. But do you know which ballet has what?

Keep reading... Show less
(Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy BAE)

Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.

Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.

Keep reading... Show less
Parris Goebel and her ReQuest Dance Crew (via Twitter)

Are your moves smooth and sexy like Chloé Arnold's tapping Syncopated Ladies, or is your dancing bubblegum sweet like the girls of Suga N Spice? Behold, the answer:

Keep reading... Show less
(Lucas Chilczuk)

Let's face it—spare time is pretty tough to come by when you're a dancer. You're either rushing to get ready for rehearsal, rushing to rehearsal, a combo of the two, or in rehearsal (or performing, or in class, or at an audition...you get the picture). Well here at DS, we understand the struggle is REAL, which is why we've rounded up our favorite foolproof makeup hacks, approved by resident #LazyGirl when it comes to makeup (spoiler alert: it's me). On to the hacks!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Kalea Hidalgo (Photo by 567 Photography, courtesy Stacey Hidalgo)

Kalea (pronounced kah-LAY-uh) Hidalgo knows how to move. Her decisive, dynamic dancing commands the stage: She gobbles up space so confidently it's hard to believe you're watching a mere tween. Unsurprisingly, that presence and power have started turning heads in a serious way. Not only did Talia Favia choreograph one of her solos in 2017, but Kalea also recently signed with Bloc Talent Agency in L.A. and, last summer, placed first overall in the junior contemporary solo category at Radix Nationals.

"When you're out on the dance floor, don't ask for permission—ask for forgiveness."—Kalea Hidalgo
Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Swift in her latest "Making of a Song" episode (via Youtube)

Taylor Swift is #blessed in many ways: She's got a great voice, insane song writing skills, and, to quote her new hit single, she's "Gorgeous." She is not, however, blessed in the dance department. But that doesn't stop her from busting out the occasional dance move. In fact, Swift likes to playfully show off her less-than-stellar dancing, be it in her music videos (hello, "Shake It Off") or at music award shows. So we weren't surprised when during the latest episode of her "Making of a Song" series for AT&T, she unveiled a new endearingly awkward maneuver, which she's dubbed the "dolphin body roll"—and it practically had friend and producer Jack Antonoff rolling on the floor!🤣

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Ray Batten (left) teaching class at Wagner Dance and Arts in Mesa, AZ (courtesy Batten)

You rehearse your group routine to perfection, but when the big performance rolls around, everyone turns into speed demons. It's the runaway-train effect—and it only takes one loud tapper, or zippy turner, to throw the whole group off the music.

While nerves and excitement are partly to blame, the ability to keep to tempo begins in the studio. A well-developed sense of musicality is your best defense against the dreaded speed trap. "When you understand how the steps fit with the music, going too fast won't just feel like rushing," says Jeremy Arnold, lecturer of tap at the University of Texas at Austin. "It'll feel wrong." How can dancers develop that musicality? It all starts with learning to listen.

Keep reading... Show less


Want to Be on Our Cover?





Get Dance Spirit in your inbox