Teen Vogue's "Strictly Ballet" Dancers: Where Are They Now?

In 2014 Teen Vogue came out with one of our favorite dance series yet: "Strictly Ballet." From NYC's School of American Ballet to Florida's Miami City Ballet School, we got to follow dance students through the rigorous, glamorous, and sometimes intense ups and downs that are the norm for most serious ballet students. Though the reality web series only lasted two seasons, we love the intimate look it gave into the ballet world and the students whose lives it followed. We loved it so much that by the end of each season we were almost as invested in those dancers' careers as they were.

Now, four years later, we're dying to know what some of our favorite dancers from the series are up to. Keep reading to find out where the blood, sweat, and blisters have gotten them.


Mimi Staker

The last time we saw Mimi Staker she was on track to join New York City Ballet, having just received her apprenticeship with the company. Now she's a full-fledged member of NYCB's corps de ballet and has performed a diverse repertoire of classical and neoclassical ballets. Staker has even had the opportunity to dance featured roles, such as Maria in Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite. She also appeared in Puma's collaboration with the company.


Alec Knight

Australian heartthrob Alec Knight was still a student at SAB when Season 1 ended. Since then he's been promoted to NYCB's corps de ballet and has performed major feature roles including Benvolio, The Prince of Verona in Romeo and Juliet. He's also found success as a model, walking the runway for big name brands like Dolce & Gabbana.


Jasmine Perry

Jasmine Perry is in her fifth season with the Los Angeles Balletand she's thriving. Her strong technique and beautiful lines continue to shine. Perry was also featured in our March cover story as one of ten black ballerina trailblazers who are following in Misty Copeland's footsteps and helping to usher more racial diversity into the ballet industry.


Victor Jarvis

Victor Jarvis traded the Big Apple for the Midwest and has been dancing at the Cleveland Ballet. He's performed numerous ballets with the company, including Coppelia, Midsummer Night's Dream, Beethoven Trio, and Nutcracker Suite.


Valeriia Chaykina

Remember the passionate and enthusiastic Russian ballet student Valeria Chaykina from Season 2? She's currently a member of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, where she's performed numerous roles including Spring Fairy in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella.


Ella Titus

On Season 2 of "Strictly Ballet," Ella Titus proved that while it can be hard, it is possible to juggle an involved dance schedule and public school. The down-to-earth dancer received her contract at the end of the series and is now living her dream as a dancer with Miami City Ballet. Titus has also turned her knack for stylish dancewear into a business as she's created her own line of hand-knitted legwarmers, called Ella Warmers.


Mayumi Enokibara

Mayumi Enokibara was the darling, petite, Miami City Ballet apprentice who you couldn't help but love—and when she received her contract I'm pretty sure there was a collective round of applause from viewers. Enokibara still dances for Miami City Ballet and has accumulated a diverse repertoire.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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