Sara Mearns' Top 10 Reasons to Love Ballet

The New York City Ballet principal in Dances at a Gathering (Photos by Paul Kolnik)

1. You find out something new about yourself every day. Whether it’s good or bad, a strength or weakness, something physical or emotional, ultimately you grow stronger from it.

2. You get into fierce shape!

3. When you’re onstage, you get to create a fantasy world all your own.

4. You get to sparkle from head to toe—from your hair and headpiece to your makeup, costume and shoes.

5. Ballet made me realize that you can’t be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, and why would you want it to? Perfect is boring and leaves no room to grow or to reach higher places.

6. As a ballerina, you get to dance to the most beautiful and amazing music—the kind that gives you goosebumps.

Mearns in Serenade

7. Creating a partnership with someone onstage is one of the most sacred and personal aspects of being a ballet dancer. You come to understand what trust truly means.

8. You get to meet interesting people from all around the world. These people are creating something brand-new—and they could be creating it on you.

9. You get to travel the world and perform in amazing venues, from the oldest opera house in France to outdoor stages on the cliffs of Italy.

10. The most important reason why I love ballet is the opportunity I have to be a positive mentor for the younger generation. I get to inspire young dancers to follow their passions and to allow the art of ballet to continue on.

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We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)

So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.

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Photo by Joe Toreno

The coolest place she's ever performed:

I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!


Something she's constantly working on:

My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'


Signature look:

My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.


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Dear Katie,

For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!

Serafina

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