Ballet's Brightest Stars—The Before Videos

NYC is bursting with promising ballet dancers this week, thanks to the Youth America Grand Prix finals held at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater. To all the competitors (at YAGP and beyond), we're shouting a big "Merde!!" your way.

We can't wait to see what amazing things these kids will do next. Don't believe us? Just take a look at these teens competing in the '90s and early '00s. They sure turned out (more than) OK.

Before she was New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, she was simply the amazingly talented 15-year-old Sara Mearns, competing at YAGP:

Recognize this guy? It's none other than the dreamiest of all American Ballet Theatre principals, Marcelo Gomes, competing at the Prix de Lausanne in 1996.

Here's international ballet superstar Alina Cojocaru at the Prix de Lausanne in 1997:

No surprises here: ABT soloist Sarah Lane's port de bras was just as glorious in 2002!

And San Francisco Ballet soloist Simone Messmer was just as regal at 16, competing at YAGP regional finals in 2001:

It's hard to imagine Diana Vishneva before she was a start of the Mariinsky Ballet and ABT. Nevertheless, here she is in 1994, competing at the Prix de Lausanne:

And finally, here's a special treat: Alex Wong in leopard booty shorts at the Prix de Lausanne in 2004. Go ahead, watch it sixteen times. We have.

Latest Posts


Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
King Kong on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Bonneau/Brian-Brown)

Follow the Path of a Broadway Musical from Concept to Opening Night

The curtain rises, the crowd goes wild, and the bright lights of Broadway shine down as you make your debut on opening night…it's every Broadway baby's dream. But you may be surprised to learn that a show's journey to the Great White Way can be months, or even years, in the making. How does a production go from concept to curtain call? We spoke to industry veterans about what happens at every stage.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Jordan Fisher (center) in a dance scene from Work It (Brendan Adam-Zwelling/Netflix)

Here's Why Jordan Fisher Thinks You Should Be Excited for Netflix's New Dance Film, "Work It"

If you're looking for a sign that 2020 might *just* be turning around, look no further than Netflix's new dance-centric film Work It. The movie comes out this Friday, August 7, and the hype is real. ICYMI, the film follows high school senior Quinn Ackerman, played by none other than Sabrina Carpenter, as she attempts to lead her dance team to a competition win in order to bolster her chances of being admitted to the college of her dreams. One small challenge: Quinn isn't a dancer.

Enter Jordan Fisher as Jake Taylor, a talented-but-troubled choreographer and dancer, to help Quinn lead the team. We had the chance to speak with Fisher about his experience on set, and why Work It just might be the dance movie we've all been waiting for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search