As of today, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, are well underway (helloooo, endless hours of gymnastics-watching). And although dancing isn't an official sport (not quite sure how we feel about that...), the opening ceremonies are the perfect place to highlight it on the world stage. The opening ceremonies usually draw inspiration from the host country, highlighting national or cultural dance styles. In Rio that meant over-the-top Carnival-esque costumes, super-bright colors and tons of samba, thanks to Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker.

A scene from the massive dance party that was the Rio opening ceremony. (Photo via the Rio 2016 website)

The New York Times caught up with Colker before and after the ceremonies to learn about her process, and more importantly, to get an answer to the first question on everyone's mind: What actually goes into producing such a massive show?

For starters, Colker choreographed over 3,000 volunteers and 114 professional dancers for the ceremonies. Despite her background working with Cirque du Soleil, it was by far the biggest show of her career. Colker told NYT: "Early on I did five workshops and hired people in different styles and areas, which enriched the vocabulary a lot. I started planning a year and a half ago, and the first small workshops were about a year ago. Slowly, I built my team. I started working with the volunteers on May 27. Every weekend, 10 am to 9 pm, and during the week as well." Dang.

(Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times)

And her vision for the dancing? "I wanted everything to bleed together," Colker says. "Like here in Brazil, where everyone is surviving and sharing together. Samba, funka style specific to Rio, born in Rioand passinho, which combines breakdance and hip hop and maracatu, from northern Brazil. I mixed all of this."

(Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Colker also gave the featured dancers some room to create their own art: "I told them I wanted to work with their experiences, but I wanted it to reflect their personalities. This is so important, because this is real street art." She even included a few field trips in her choreographic process: "I went twice to a place called Parintins in the Amazonian jungle, close to Manaus, to lead rehearsals," she said, for a section highlighting Brazil's indigenous culture.

Our fave moments? That awesome parkour section where dancers climbed around and flew over imaginary walls and platforms (that were actually just projections), and the super-fun and energetic samba dance party that ended the show (featuring select dancers and drummers from all 12 of Rio's famed samba schools).

We're thinkin' Colker nailed it. "I'm relieved and happy and proud," she says.

Check out her full interview here. Talk about some major #MotivationMonday inspo...

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There's nothing cooler (or more fascinating) than getting the inside scoop on a prima ballerina's life. What does she eat before a performance? What's her favorite workout? Does she have any guilty pleasures? Any pre-performance rituals? We need. to. know.

Thankfully, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is dropping tips everywhere these days (and just in time for #MotivationMonday). Boylston is currently ABT's youngest principal and debuted as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, just last week. So basically, when she doles out advice, we listen!

This week, she talked with The New Potato. The biggest takeaway? This ballerina loves her food. More precisely: her pasta (yes, girl!). "My favorite pre-show food is pasta," she says. "If I’m on the road, I’ll order some spaghetti from room service. After a show I’ll eat anythinga burger, steak, fish, or more pasta!"

Isabella Boylston outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. (photo via The New Potato)

Boylston also dishes on her post-rehearsal routine, saying she doesn't work out much outside of the studio, but that she always makes sure to roll out her muscles with a foam roller and takes hot bubble baths with Epsom salts. And for curing those pre-show jitters? "My biggest pre-show ritual is listening to music and drinking coffee. I always get really nervous before a big show, so it helps me stay in a positive state of mind," she says. "Sometimes I take a hot shower at the last minute before I go onstage to get my blood going–and I give my rings to my dresser, Tomoko, for safekeeping."

Plus, Bolyston's biggest piece of advice: "Don’t limit yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you don’t let fear or worrying about your perceived shortcomings get in the way of working towards your goals."

Inspiring, right? Head over to The New Potato to read even more about the principal and have a fabulously motivated Monday!

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We love a good, flawless dance picture more than anyone. Case in point: Our daily Facebook Photo of the Day posts that serve up some seriously stunning poses and inspiration. But, we also know that dance isn't always that glamorous. It's hard, grueling and rarely picture-perfect. And that imperfection is exactly what makes Russian photographer and dancer Darian Volkova's Instagram such great #MondayMotivation. She showcases the real, gritty and dirty side of balletand reminds us of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into achieving those breathtaking performances.

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

But it's not all work, work, work. She also posts insanely gorgeous photos that show the end results of all of that effort and dedication. It's the perfect reminder of what's on the other side of that blood, sweat and tears. (Plus, we're living for her insider backstage shots and self portraits.)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Sceenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

Scroll through her entire feed here and have a great Monday bunheads!

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Pretty much anything Chloé Arnold and her Syncopated Ladies get their hands/taps on is bound to be fantastic. But the crew seems to have a special affinity for Beyoncé—as confirmed back in the day by Queen B herself (remember the Share Heard 'Round the World?), and as confirmed once again yesterday by the group's latest video, "Formation."

The Ladies' take on Beyoncé's internet-melting hit doesn't involve much in the way of fancy production values. That's not the point. Instead, we get two delicious minutes of unflinchingly bold, ingeniously musical tap choreography that just dares us to look away. It's the perfect showcase for the unique voices of the dancers—Chloé and Maud Arnold, Anissa Lee, Assata Madison, Orialis Ashley, Melinda Sullivan and Melissa Tannus—who are, as ever, brilliant.

The best part? At the end of the video, we see clips of women from studios around the world performing the same routine. It's the Syncopated Ladies' way of wishing us all a happy Women's History Month, and it's exactly what we all need for #MotivationMonday.

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