Dusty Button In class onstage (Mitchell Button)

A Trip Around the World with Ballet Star Dusty Button

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.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search