(Photo by Nathan Sayers)

There’s a new generation of danseurs on the rise—and they’re more than just technical standouts (though, yes, they’re seriously talented). Forget feeling defensive or self-conscious about wearing tights: These men are unabashedly embracing their artistry. Onstage and online, they’re celebrating the power and allure of the male dancer. Read on for a sneak peek of our cover feature on Aran Bell, or get the whole magazine right now by downloading the digital edition here!

Fast Facts About Aran Bell:

What do you look for in a ballet partner?

“Someone who’s high-energy, fun and smart. Good communication is key.”

What’s the biggest misconception about male ballet dancers?

“Funnily enough, I always get little girls asking me if I wear tutus and pointe shoes. And people think we’re all gay. One of my dad’s colleagues asked him if he worried that ballet would ‘make me gay,’ which is crazy.”

What sets this generation of ballet men apart?

“It’s a really motivated group. I think there’s a lot of focus on artistry as well as technique, too.”

Are you more of a Basilio or an Albrecht?

“I’m definitely a Basilio! People might assume Albrecht, because I’m tall and have that princely look, but my personality doesn’t fit that description.”

What was your most thrilling moment onstage?

“When I got to do the Corsaire pas de deux at a gala last summer, which is funny because I only had two days of rehearsal. And dancing with ABT at the Met last season—I was doing tiny roles, but it was an incredible experience!”