We Can't Get Enough of This Beautiful Transgender Ballerina

Jay Ledford is #goals in so many ways. (via Instagram)

World, if you haven't already, meet Jay Ledford.

She's an incredibly gifted 18-year-old student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet with lines for dayyyyys. She's also transgender. And describing her as inspiring is a bit of an understatement.


Jay began transitioning relatively recently, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram. She's an active advocate for transgender youth, the kind of role model that so many young people—inside and outside of the dance world—need right now.

She's also just. so. beautiful. I mean:

Recently, in a post for New York City Ballet's "With Ballet" campaign, Jay talked about how ballet has helped her become her most authentic self:

"With ballet I am able to be who I am. I am able to express myself in ways that aren't possible through words. Being transgender I am able to not only express who I am through ballet but I am able to show others that you can do anything without giving up. Ballet is a way to get away from everything and just breathe. Dance is a breath of fresh air."

Keep living your truth, Jay. We're predicting great things for you—and the other trans trailblazers of the dance world.

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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