If you're one of Dusty Button's 146,000 (and counting) Instagram followers, you know this ballerina doesn't fit any molds. Because while she holds down a job as a Boston Ballet principal dancer and takes the stage in ultimate classical roles like Odette/Odile (which she performed this past April), she's just as comfortable in a fast-paced contemporary Jorma Elo piece or in a thin pair of socks working a hotel ballroom floor.

In fact, the Myrtle Beach, SC–born dancer grew up dancing on the competition and convention scene before training seriously at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Ballet School. She spent two years in the corps of Birmingham Royal Ballet, then returned to the States to join Boston Ballet in 2012, skyrocketing to principal status in just two years. And while Beantown is her home base, she doesn't sit still for long. Instead, she frequently travels the globe for gigs as guest star, teacher, choreographer and entrepreneur—cultivating her brand by earning endorsements from companies like Bloch Inc. and Red Bull and working with her husband for their lifestyle company.

We asked Button to share her wild ride of a summer, when, after finishing Boston Ballet's spring season, she performed in Mongolia, toured Japan, choreographed in Texas and, somehow, made it all look pretty darn effortless.

Mitchell Button

Button getting ready to perform the Don Quixote pas de deux with Boston Ballet principal Lasha Khozashvili in Mongolia. The gala was arranged by fellow Boston Ballet dancer Altan Dugaraa and featured performers from the Mongolian National Ballet Theatre and others from around the world.


Mitchell Button

Button descending into a cave in Japan with husband Mitchell.


Mitchell Button

Button is on falculty at BellaMoxie dance convention and competition.


Mitchell Button

Teaching at The Dallas Conservatory in Texas during a week-long ballet workshop.


Mitchell Button

Choreographing during the workshop at The Dallas Conservatory.


Mitchell Button

"Regardless of how you see yourself in the mirror, take risks and perform so hard that it might even make you feel embarrassed," Button says. "Your future self will thank you for that dedication."


Mitchell Button

A quiet moment.


Mitchell Button

A last-minute gala warm-up.


Mitchell Button

Doing an interview with Eagle News in Mongolia about the gala, her career and her impressions of the country.


Mitchell Button

Seeing more of the countryside.

Mitchell Button

Riding a horse near the Genghis Khan Equestrain Statue in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

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