May We All Grow Up to Be This Fabulous 81-Year-Old Ballerina
Barbara Peters is all the #goals. (BBC)
Barbara Peters is a grandmother of eight. She's also our new favorite dancer.
At 81, Peters, who lives in Halifax in the UK, is officially Britain's oldest ballerina. While she's been dancing since she was 2, and beloved by her students since she started teaching ballet in her early 20s, she just earned a MUCH larger fanbase—us included, obvi—after appearing on the BBC show "The Greatest Dancer."
How amazing was her performance? So amazing that it inspired judge Matthew Morrison to join her onstage for a waltz afterward.
Unsurprisingly, she earned 75 percent of the audience's vote, and is on to the next round of the competition.
In case you weren't already in love with this incredible octogenarian, a bit more of her backstory: Peters achieved grade five in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus by the time she was 12—a seriously impressive feat—and opened her own dance school in 1956, at age 24. All three of her children, and all eight of her grandchildren, have danced. In 2015, she decided to head back to the studio to complete the final three RAD levels. Earlier this month, she was awarded grade eight, the highest level—on the same day that her 11-year-old granddaughter achieved grade two.
In other words: This wonderful human is ALL. THE. GOALS. 🙌
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.