New York City Ballet's awesome media department strikes again!

The company just posted a series of "screen test" videos to its YouTube channel, featuring interviews with eight of the company's most charismatic dancers. What do they talk about? Well, everything, from their pre-show rituals to their adventures in scuba diving. It's pretty fun to see the glamazons we worship onstage as normal, down-to-earth people (who love Center Stage, just like us!).

Here are a few of our favorites.

Principal Robert Fairchild:

Principal Ashley Bouder:

Corps member Marika Anderson:

There's no question that dance has pretty much taken over when it comes to mainstream advertising (and if you need a refresher—Exhibits A, B and C). And while we're all for dance (and dancers!) getting the recognition they deserve, it can be exhausting to watch brands get it wrong over and over. Which is why these new ads, featuring NYCB's Ashley Bouder, ABT's Gillian Murphy, Lauren Froderman and Dakota Moore, are not only super-tantalizing, but absolutely stunning, too. While we're not super familiar with Acer (we know it's an electronics company based in Taiwan), we must applaud the team behind these beautiful Instagrams. See for yourself below, and prepare to be mesmerized.

Congratulations, Ashley Bouder! The New York City Ballet principal/superhuman pregnant woman is pregnant no longer: She welcomed baby girl Violet Storm de Florio early this morning. (And like the good nerds they are, Bouder and her fiancé have already noted that the "fourth" is strong with this one.)

A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

For those of you unfamiliar with the #bouderbump story, let us give you a refresher course in the most succinct way possible:

1) Here's Bouder doing fouettés at six-and-a-half months pregnant.

2) Here she is doing fouettés at 37 weeks pregnant.

3) And here she is doing fouettés four days—FOUR. DAYS.—before her due date.

Yeah. That's how you do pregnancy when you're a crazy-strong ballerina/straight-up BOSS.

Congrats again, Ashley!

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For most mere mortals, being six months pregnant means eating for two, enjoying the fact that your bump is finally large enough to earn you a seat in a crowded subway car and firmly believing that a gentle 30-minute prenatal yoga class is enough to justify spending the remainder of the night gloriously pantsless on the couch. (Full disclosure: I am currently six months pregnant, and that is 100 PERCENT MY LIFE right now.)

But New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder is no mere mortal.

Nope: For Bouder, being six (and a half!) months pregnant means having the tiniest, cutest #BouderBump known to man—and still being able to bang out 16 perfect fouettés. Exhibit A:

A video posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

BOW DOWN.

In case you're not sufficiently impressed, I submit to you more evidence that Bouder has had the most fabulously dance-y pregnancy ever:

1) At eight weeks—a time when most mommies-to-be are dying of morning sickness—she danced Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.

A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

2) At nine weeks—when normal pregnant humans are feeling bloated and gross—she looked like THIS in the premiere of Justin Peck's New Blood.

A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

2) At four months—for reference, this is when an average pregnant lady is beginning to show—she did two Nutcracker Dewdrops in a single day, filling in for injured friend Sara Mearns.

A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

3) Today, even when she's in a leotard and tights, you still can't tell she's pregnant from the back.

A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

GET IT, Ashley. And congrats!

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Every July, New York City Ballet heads to Saratoga Springs, NY for their annual residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and every July, us members of the dance world watch in envy as NYCB company members' Saratoga photos start filling our Instagram feeds.

Sara Mearns rehearsing onstage at SPAC (Photo by Kyle Froman Photography)

They've got it all: Lake days! Home-cooked meals! Hikes through gorgeous meadows! Dancing their incredible rep on a giant, outdoor stage! And best of all, engagements! (Congrats to Chase and Lauren!!!!)

 

Here are some of our favorite moments thus far:

 

#nofilter #saratogalake #daysoff #summertimevibes @justin_peck

A photo posted by @madeeks on

Annual Saratoga tradition (!) #BoSsam

A photo posted by Justin Peck (@justin_peck) on

Regram @reidbartelme | summertime living

A photo posted by Gretchen Smith (@gretchen.h.smith) on

Farm life 2 with @rustlegj

A photo posted by Reid Bartelme (@reidbartelme) on

 

(Via Marika Anderson's Instagram, Justin Peck's Instagram, Tiler Peck's Instagram, Gretchen Smith's Instagram, Reid Bartelme's Instagram and Ashley Bouder's Instagram)

Season 2 of “city.ballet.”—the AOL On series that gives an insider’s look at New York City Ballet—is live now! We’re recapping one episode per week. Watch all 12 at dancemagazine.com

We love, love, love that this second season of "city.ballet." is zooming in on some of New York City Ballet's most fantastic, and most interesting, dancers. The entirety of episode 7 is devoted to principal Ashley Bouder—she of the killer jump and, as we discovered, unbelievable work ethic. Here are five things we learned from the ep.

1. Bouder gives amazing slo-mo face. Just look at that opening shot!

2. Her personality offstage is, in a funny way, exactly what you'd expect after seeing her onstage. Bouder's an incredibly incisive, decisive performershe knows precisely what she wants to do out there, and she always gets it done. She seems to live her whole life the same way: She decided very early on that she wanted to dance, and she never let anything get in her way. It's pretty inspiring.

3. She's a singular dancer. Frequently, people describe NYCB ballerinas as "the new Suzanne Farrell," or "the new Patricia McBride." But, as artistic director Peter Martins says, "Ashley Bouder does not remind me of anybody else." And that's a good thing. "You don't want to think about somebody else when you see Ashley," Martins explains."She's extremely versatile. She has an unbelievable technique."

4. She's also a nerd. Bouder is majoring in political science at Fordham University. "I really like politics," she says. "I can't be in the classroom all the time, so my degree is going to take several years. But I'll get there. I'll graduate." Hey, Under Armour: Can we nominate Ashley for your next "I Will What I Want" ad?

5. Her niece and nephew are THE CUTEST. Oh my goodness, you guys! They're from a small town, so Bouder likes to have them stay with her in NYC once in a while. "I think it's very important for kids to get out and see what possibilities there are in the world," she says. D'awwwww.

Click the image below to watch the full episode!

Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of city.ballet. in NYCB's shoe room.

You may know Sarah Jessica Parker as Little Orphan Annie, as Carrie Bradshaw, or as executive producer of AOL's docudrama city.ballet. (which, by the way, just announced it's getting a second season!). But today and Wednesday, SJP takes on yet another role: radio host.

From 12pm to 2pm, SJP will step in as host of WNYC's "Leonard Lopate Show," and she's booked two full days of awesome guests. Today, Jessie Mueller, star of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, will take the mic (along with artist Alex Katz, The New Yorker journalist Dexter Filkins and playwright Terrance McNally). My guess is that Mueller—who is amazing as singer-songwriter Carole King on Broadway—might talk about the night two weeks ago, when King herself dropped by to see the production and sang with the cast following the curtain calls. (Check that out here.)

Tomorrow, however, is the day when bunheads in particular should tune their radios to 93.9 FM or AM 820, because ballet legend Gelsey Kirkland and New York City Ballet principals Ashley Bouder and Sara Mearns will all join the conversation.

Don't fret if you don't have a radio in NYC or if you're busy tomorrow afternoon. The "Leonard Lopate Show" is streamed live (and on-demand) at wnyc.org.

For those who've followed along in my one-episode-per-week challenge, this week is for the very last episode of "city.ballet." For those who haven't, now is the perfect time to watch the entire series from the beginning (especially if you're stuck inside because of the snow). In the finale, we get a look at the New York City Ballet dancers outside of the studio. Turns out, they're more than just beautiful dancers; they're also interesting humans.

FUN FACT:

Principal dancer Ashley Bouder didn't go straight to college after high school, but she's back in school now. And her major isn't dance—it's political science!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

"You don't become an artist by just doing your field, by just being in your bubble. That's why I think having an outside life is so important. Because that's what will inspire you to be the best artist you can be in your field." —Sara Mearns, NYCB principal

Watch every episode now at dancemagazine.com (Click “Related” in the upper right hand corner of the video to navigate between episodes.)

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