Last week, we highlighted the deliberately, hysterically bad @biscuitballerina Instagram account, created by a then-mysterious dancer with a great sense of humor. This week, the artist behind @biscuitballerina—who turns out to be Royal Ballet of Flanders corps member Shelby Williams—got in touch with us to set the record straight about the intentions of those LOL-worthy posts.
Her photos and videos, with their exaggeratedly cringe-worthy technical flaws, are NOT meant to mock amateur dancers. Instead, Williams is actually hoping the account will help all dancers move past their shortcomings and accept themselves and their dancing.
Is there anything better than a killer dance photoshoot? OF COURSE NOT! Whether you're taking headshots, model shots, or simply images that'll slay on Instagram, dance photography makes the world a prettier place.
To make sure your next dance photoshoot is as 🔥 as you are, we asked photographer Kenneth Edwards for his dos and don'ts. Follow his advice and your dance photography future will be as bright as your "golden hour" lighting.
If Kalani were to win an award for something besides her dancing, it would be for having the most "like"-worthy Instagram page (@kalanihilliker): It's jam-packed with behind-the-scenes pics of the "Dance Moms" cast, fashionable photo shoots, and goofy, candid moments. Here, Kalani shares the strategies that got her to 4.2 million followers.
You guys know how obsessed I am with Insta meetups. These genius events unite passionate photographers with compelling subject matter, and then leverage the power of social media technology to give people multiple perspectives on the same idea, object or place.
May I then call your attention to The Royal Opera House's #balletbeauty meetup? Home of The Royal Ballet, ROH organized the event as a way to invite top London 'grammers to take a peek inside the dressing rooms of the company dancers. And while #balletbeauty pretty much spells out the theme of the images, there's a whole lot more performance face mirror selfies. Take a look:
OK you guys, I'm officially obsessed. This #empty trend on Instagram is absolutely captivating and when top 'grammers turn their lenses toward the world's most beautiful buildings—well, I die.
POB dancers in rehearsal (photo by @hannahrw)
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was freaking out over #emptyROH. Now, thank the interwebz for #emptygarnier. That's right, the most magical ballet palace on the planet opened its doors to a lucky group of 'grammers whose unique snaps and captures really show the different ways you can look at a place. Thanks also to the Paris Opéra Ballet's Insta-savvy new artistic director, Benjamin Millepied. He's going full-speed ahead when it comes to shaking things up at the POB—he's confidently mixing the old with the new. Civilian smart-phone artists to document an institution steeped in tradition and prestige? Why the heck not?!
IS THIS A REAL PLACE?! (Photo by @wonguy974)
And whether they're tricky perspective shots, soaring views from the roof or intimate close-ups of tiny Palais Garnier details, each photo is a testament to the beauty of sharing our art with others, whether it's dance, photography or something else entirely.
This Thanksgiving, two celebrity families served up a LOT more than turkey and mashed potatoes. Former "Dancing with the Stars" partners Derek Hough and Maria Menounos ("Extra") battled it out over Instagram in a Thanksgiving dance war. And in the spirit of the holiday, their families got involved too.
It was a bold move for the Menounos family to challenge the Houghs to a dance-off, considering they've got two not-so-secret weapons: Derek and Julianne. But they brought their A-game with some Flo Rida, T-pain and shades:
In a surprise comeback, the Houghs relied on their family charm, rather than a flashy display of their professional skills:
Who do you think won the #Thanksgivingdancewars?
Nobody knows what we want from Instagram better than Boston Ballet principal, comp-world superstar and all-around #queen Dusty Button. Yes, she gives us lots of beautiful still photos showing off her flawless technique and crazy banana feet; we get peeks at her world travels with her husband; there are photos of her dance bag contents, and some puppy pics, and the occasional food shot.
But where Button really excels is in the video arena. Oh my LORD, friends: have you been watching these vids?? Most are just Button playing around in an empty studio—but her definition of "playing around" is, um, a little different than most peoples'. The clips showcase the kind of pure, unadulterated virtuosity that, for most of us, is the stuff of dreams. Button is LIVING those dreams.
Do you want pirouettes? Yeah, she can do that for you. How about 10, for starters—set to Drake for good measure?
Perhaps a little sampler including a (literally) 10-second balance? Yup, no problem:
Some beautifully controlled center work? Sure:
Last—but CERTAINLY not least—how about a bunch of drool-worthy foot close-ups? Oh yeah definitely:
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. So, yes; go follow this woman now. And for an even closer look at Button's multifaceted life, check out "In Her Shoes," our photo essay documenting her work in both the ballet and the competition worlds.
Alex Wong's versatility truly knows no bounds. From ballet to Broadway, the dynamo has seemingly done it all. Wong was a member of Miami City Ballet before leaving to compete on "So You Think You Can Dance" (where he was the fan favorite but, unfortunately, suffered a serious injury mid-season and had to withdraw from the competition), and then going on to hit the Great White Way in Newsies. He's performed at awards shows, on television shows, and as an All-Star on "SYTYCD," and graced the July/August 2012 cover of DS.
As if his long list of impressive credits doesn't convince you of his versatility, turn to his Instagram, where he is a veritable master of mixing dance and everyday activities. (Think leaping down the grocery store aisles which, come on, we've all done, and pencheé-ing his way to pick up his laundry off the floor.) If you're not following this uber-likeable and hyper-flexible dancer, get to double-tapping. (He's at @alexdwong.) Here's a glimpse into why Wong's worthy of your likes.