What We Learned from "city.ballet." Season 2, Episode 10

Season 2 of “city.ballet.”—the AOL On series that gives an insider’s look at New York City Ballet—is live now! We’re recapping one episode per week. Watch all 12 at dancemagazine.com

Ballet dancers' lives look glamorous on the surface. But being in a major company actually requires a ton of hard work. How do professional dancers deal with the day-in, day-out grind of classes and rehearsals? That's what episode 10 of "city.ballet" investigates: the stuff that keeps New York City Ballet members inspired and motivated. Here are five things we learned from the ep.

NYCB dancers in company class (still from "city.ballet.")

1. NYCB company class is fascinating. There's nothing like watching some of the world's greatest artists—and, let's not forget, athletes—put their bodies through their paces. The exposed nature of ballet class reveals both their superhuman-ness (how does she move that quickly?) and their humanness (oh hey, she struggles with attitude turns too!).

2. A healthy nondance life is one of the keys to a successful dance life. "I think it's really important not to think about work all the time," says soloist Lauren Lovette, who stays inspired by taking an art class in her spare time. Corps member Silas Farley (who, by the way, got into Harvard as well as NYCB—no biggie) finds an outlet in his religious faith. And fellow corps dancer Mary Elizabeth Sell expresses herself through poetry.

3. Ballet holds dancers to an impossible standard—but that's inspiring, not discouraging. "We go into the studio every day trying to achieve something that's unattainable: balletic perfection," Farley says. "And you're never gonna get there. But the fact that you never get there is not a reason to turn back. It's rather the motivation—the knowledge that there's always more to learn, and there's always more room to grow."

4. A ballet career is like a long-term love affair. In ballet, just as in love, "the more you care, the more the little things are upsetting," Sell says. "But people always say you have to take that risk in love, because it's better to have a broken heart than to have never loved."

5. GORGEOUS TIARA ALERT. At 5:20. So sparklyyyyyy!

Click the image below to watch the full episode.

Dance News
(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

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?


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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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